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Texas: Know Your Rights, Know Your Power!

Know Your Power and fight back against SB4



What is SB4?

SB4 is an anti-immigrant bill that was passed in the Texas legislature. As of March 25, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked SB4 — the racist, xenophobic “Deportation Law” passed by Texas Republicans.

Once in effect, SB4, Texas’ Deportation Law, would: 

  1. Criminalize undocumented people under state law and put them at increased risk of deportation by Making it a state crime to enter Texas from another country without authorization and outside of an official port of entry. 
  2. Punish folks with prior deportations or criminal convictions by Makinges it a state crime to re-enter or have presence in Texas without authorization after being previously deported. 
  3. Open the door to mass racial profiling and arrest of any Texan of color by Giving Texas peace officers the power to target, arrest and charge individuals with “illegal entry” and “illegal reentry”.
  4. Turn magistrate court judges into immigration judges with the ability to deport folks by Requiring them to order individuals found in violation of this law to be deported,
  5. However officers cannot arrest folks in primary or secondary schools, places of worship, health care facilities or SAFE-ready facilities for SA survivors.

NOTE: This law is different from SB4, Texas’ Travel Ban Law, that took effect February 6, 2024 and is currently in effect across Texas. Texas’ Travel Ban Law criminalizes the transportation of undocumented people in the state with a 10 year minimum sentence.

Fight Back! Know Your Power!

Regardless of  local and state policy, EVERYONE has rights! NO MATTER What is your immigration status!

What are our constitutional rights?

  • No searches without a judicial search warrant, check that is signed by a judge.
  • The right to remain silent and not answer any questions from enforcement, especially regarding our immigration status.
    • Important to know that in the state of Texas you are required to identify yourself
      • Drivers: Driver License or Driver License Number, Name, Date of Birth and address, Valid form of ID.
      • Passengers: Name, Date of birth, address (only if asked).
      • Remember :It’s important to not give  false documentation or information, this can be used against you. 
  • The right to an attorney:
      • If you are arrested by local law enforcement, you have the right to an attorney provided by the government.
      • If you are detained by Immigration Enforcement, you have the right to consult an attorney but they are not obligated to provide one

Exercising our rights to remain silent and request an attorney does not guarantee not being detained, but gives us the opportunity to organize and fight our case and to not provide additional information that can be used against us. 

Stay Prepared!

Having a plan on how to respond in case we come in contact with law enforcement is crucial. Every plan is different based on each person. 

  • Preparedness package
    • Personal information (DOB, Birth Certificate, Immigration forms/case, etc) 
  • Identify a trusted immigration attorney, discuss your case and what options are available for you. 
  • Have at least one emergency contact memorized. 
  • If you have a pending immigration case, you might be required to have copies of your process with you. 
  • Preparing is also using technology, linking videos, and photos to your cloud, avoiding facial recognition features & fingerprints on your mobile device. 
  • Record or ask someone to record any interaction with local law enforcement or immigration enforcement. 

Driving within the state of Texas:

  • Be prepared
    • Before driving make sure to do a walkthrough of your vehicle and do a general inspection checking for any reasons an enforcement officer might stop someone for a minor infraction.
      • Ex. Tail lights, turn signals, tags
  • Texas is on the 100 mile border zone, what does this mean?
    • Possibilities of running into Checkpoints and/or immigration enforcement has always been a reality for southern Texans, check your routes prior to travel.
  • If a stop by local law enforcement happens
    • Under the Texas Law You are required to identify yourself
      • Driver: Name, Last Name, Date of Birth, Driver License, & address. 
      • Passenger: Name, Last Name, Date of Birth (only if requested)
    • You have Right to remain silent  – Don’t give information about your immigration status.
    • If an arrest happens, exercise your right to remain silent, and ask for an attorney. 
  • If detention happens from Immigration enforcement, you have the right to consult an attorney, immigration enforcement is not required to provide one..
    • Don’t Sign, or say  anything without an attorney present.

Traveling also involves airports!

With SB4 being focused on immigration, it’s important to know that airports are ports of entry and CBP is more likely to be present: 

  • TSA can appear to be “friendly”, be prepared to not engage with additional questions; they are still part of immigration enforcement.
  • Domestic flights forms of identification are listed on TSA website, passports are still a valid form of identification, 
  • If an interaction with CBP happens and you are pulled aside  for additional screening Remember your rights. 
    • Remain calm
    • You have the right to remain silent, don’t give any additional information about your immigration status.
    • Consult an attorney: Don’t sign or agree anything without an attorney present

Measure your own risks:

We are aware that often the rights of people are violated, it’s important to remember that you have the power over your own safety, how much you will challenge, how you choose to respond, and how much you are willing to share. 

**To find more information about Know Your Rights visit https://unitedwedream.org/resources/know-your-rights/


What can you do as an Ally?

  • This is not the first anti-immigrant policy, and in the past it has been our collective power that has challenged similar policies. We need allies to fight back and protect immigrants. 
  • Continue to demand the end to harmful policies that target immigrant communities of color. 
  • Record any interaction with law enforcement, especially if someone is being racial profiled, focus on the agencies and not the  impacted people. 
  • Host or connect with an organization hosting Know Your Rights Trainings.
  • Stay connected and informed on the latest updates by texting Know Your Power t0 787-57.

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