Texas Bill Criminalizing Immigrant Communities Heads to Governor, Texas Freedom Network Condemns State Lawmakers

October 26, 2023

CONTACT: Emily Witt (she/hers), [email protected]

AUSTIN, Texas – SB4, a bill that will criminalize the transportation and housing of undocumented migrants within Texas, today at 4 AM passed through the Texas House and will go to Governor Abbott’s desk for signature into law.

SB4 will increase mandatory minimum sentences for the housing and transportation of undocumented Texans from two years to 10 years. 

“State legislators are turning Texas into a police state,” said Rocío Fierro-Pérez (she/her/ella), interim political director for Texas Freedom Network. “We see through SB 4’s broad language and are calling it what it is – a hateful law hoping to turn Texans against one another for fear of possible incarceration – with sentences that could be higher than those for people charged with assault. In their extremism, Gov. Abbott and state legislators fail to see that Texans care for one another. These xenophobic bills won’t stop us from celebrating the communities we’ve built together. Instead, they will unite us against the politicians who choose to pass harmful legislation while refusing to protect the lives of school children from guns, improve our grid so we don’t have to fear the ever-changing climate, or fully fund our local public schools as they’re supposed to be.” 

SB 4 passed this morning after the Texas House of Representatives had an hours-long discussion about another anti-immigrant bill, HB 4. A motion was made to cut amendments short, but after a plea from Rep. Walle, amendments continued long into the night. HB 4 eventually got final approval on an 84-60 vote and will head to the Texas Senate.