AILA: Court’s Halt of SB 4 Is Win for Immigrants and Entire Nation

George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomed the decision by federal judge Orlando Garcia to enjoin the implementation of several provisions of SB4, a Texas law targeting immigrant communities which would have taken effect September 1.

AILA President Annaluisa Padilla applauded the decision, "The court's ruling to enjoin a number of SB4's most egregious provisions is based on its determination that those provisions are unconstitutional, in violation of the First and Fourth amendments, as well as preempted by federal immigration law. Further the court found that the plaintiffs would likely win on the merits of the lawsuit. Immigrants and their families, businesses, communities, the state of Texas, and our entire nation should welcome this news as once again the judiciary acted to uphold America's values and the principles of fairness and justice. Though the decision of the court affirms that AILA was on the right side of the law and history in moving our 2018 annual conference out of Texas, this is only the beginning of the battle. I am very proud of the AILA Texas Chapter and its members for their tireless and ongoing efforts to challenge this offensive and unconstitutional law."

Benjamin Johnson, AILA Executive Director, noted, "This injunction is a victory for the constitutional rights of immigrants, but also a victory for the courageous cities that were willing to stand up against the state leaders who continue to use immigration as a political weapon of fear, anger and division. This is the first step in a lengthy legal process, and undoubtedly the anti-immigrant forces who championed this unconstitutional legislation will appeal in what I think we all recognize is a tough circuit. However, the shadow that was cast over communities across Texas has been lifted today and that is a testament to the strength and power of those who refuse to bow to injustice."

Specific provisions of SB4 enjoined:

  • Unacceptable profiling of people based on immigration status, which undermines public safety and instills fear in local communities;
  • Forcing law enforcement officers in Texas to honor federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers, which courts have already concluded put local jurisdictions at risk of legal liability for violating the Constitution; and
  • Stiff penalties, including jail time and removal from office, for local officials who refuse to honor a detainer or to participate in federal immigration enforcement.


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 17083130.