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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Texas law SB4—which would allow law enforcement agents to arrest and jail migrants—could go into effect pending litigation on its constitutionality. Just hours later, the Fifth Circuit restored a hold on the law and scheduled a hearing for Wednesday morning. These decisions come a day after the Supreme Court blocked the law from going into effect while emergency appeals played out. SB4, which closely mirrors Arizona’s discriminatory “show me your papers” law, criminalizes entry and re-entry, and deputizes state police to arrest people they suspect are undocumented. 

The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), a coalition of 70 immigrant rights organizations, strongly condemns SB4 and the Supreme Court’s decision that would have allowed the law to take effect. Executive Director Nicole Melaku expressed outrage, stating, “While litigation is pending, even the threat of SB4 going into effect sends a chilling message that if you look undocumented to officials in Texas, you should be afraid. Just like Arizona’s failed policies, SB4 tasks state law enforcement with guessing peoples’ immigration status solely by appearance, which will not only lead to the targeting of immigrants, but will encourage racial profiling and policing of BIPOC communities across the state. This makes our communities less safe. While the legal battle continues, the intent and impact of the law remains the same: SB4 encourages racial profiling and spreads fear and confusion among our communities.”

Lily Trieu, Executive Director of Asian Texans for Justice (ATJ), said, “Asian Texans for Justice is disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision that would have allowed SB4, a discriminatory and unconstitutional law, to go into effect. Asian Texans, immigrants, and communities of color should not have to live in fear of policies that deny them their rights to seek protection and refuge. If implemented, this harmful law will disproportionately impact Texans with limited English proficiency throughout the state, regardless of race or immigration status. ATJ remains steadfast in our commitment alongside coalition partners to permanently halt this unconstitutional and anti-immigrant law for good.”

Hyunja Norman, Executive Director of Woori Juntos, stated, “Texas Senate Bill 4 violates the constitution and will lead to significant racial discrimination. In the face of setbacks, we will not retreat; instead, we will stand firm and resist to ensure the creation of a fair and equitable world for our community.”

Chanda Parbhoo, Executive Director of the SAVVETX Education Fund, said “We recognize SB4 as a blatant violation of human rights and a departure from the values of inclusivity and compassion that should define our nation. We stand in solidarity with all immigrant communities affected by this unjust law and call for its immediate repeal.”

This law and other policies enacted by Texas Governor Greg Abbott have led to racial profiling, with SB4 as an extension of the dangerous and life-threatening operations conducted by the state, including the use of razor wire to deter entry. NPNA and advocates worry that a harmful decision in the case could embolden similar efforts in other states to use dangerous and dehumanizing laws against vulnerable migrants and immigrant communities. As anti-immigrant rhetoric and xenophobia rise across the country this election year, advocates are increasingly concerned about the potentially dire consequences for migrants, asylum-seekers, and immigrant communities across the nation.


The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) is a multi-ethnic, multiracial coalition of 66 of the nation’s largest immigrant and refugee rights organizations with reach across over 40 states. Together with our members, we advance immigrant and refugee equity and inclusion, build and expand immigration legal services and integration programming capacity, and drive campaigns that strengthen democracy through increased civic participation. See our website for more information at