Media Contact

Kristi Gross, ACLU of Texas, [email protected]
Gabby Arias, ACLU, [email protected]
Ivonne Rodriguez, Las Americas IAC, [email protected]
Oliver Bernstein, American Gateways, [email protected]
Savannah Tarbet, Texas Civil Rights Project, [email protected]
Elhiu Dominguez, El Paso County Attorney’s Office, [email protected]

March 4, 2024

AUSTIN, Texas — Civil rights groups today filed an application to the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate an administrative stay from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that would have allowed the harmful anti-immigrant Texas law to go into effect this weekend.

In response to our application, the Supreme Court issued its own administrative stay as it deliberates. The stay will prevent the law from going into effect until March 13 at 5 p.m. EDT/ 4 p.m. CDT at the earliest.

The policy, known as Texas Senate Bill 4, is the most extreme anti-immigrant law passed by any state legislature in the country. S.B. 4 would permit local and state law enforcement and magistrates to arrest, detain, and remove people they suspect to have entered Texas from another country without federal authorization.

In December, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Texas, and Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) filed a lawsuit on behalf of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, American Gateways, and El Paso County, arguing that S.B. 4 violates the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution and is preempted by federal law.

The appeal comes after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted an administrative stay that suspended a lower court decision to block S.B. 4 from going into effect while the case is litigated. In its order, the appeals court also stated that it would schedule oral arguments over the appeal at its next available date – not yet specified – and paused the effect of its order for seven days.

In response to this news, the ACLU, ACLU of Texas, TCRP, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, American Gateways, and El Paso County commissioners Sergio Coronado and David Stout issued the following joint statement:

“Make no mistake: S.B. 4 bypasses federal immigration authority and threatens the integrity of our nation’s Constitution and laws. We have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court because this extreme law has no place in our communities.

“We have long warned that this law will separate families, lead to racial profiling across the state, and harm people across the state as Governor Abbott continues his relentless campaign against people who are immigrants. We urge the Supreme Court to undo the appeals court’s administrative stay and preserve the decision keeping this harmful law from going into effect.”

Access our application to vacate to the Supreme Court here: