Appeals court hears oral arguments over Texas immigration law SB4

A man and woman in silhouette heading through broken border fence on the southern border of the USA.

On Wednesday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments regarding the controversial Texas immigration law, Senate Bill 4 (“SB4”), that allows state officials to prosecute and imprison migrants suspected of crossing the border illegally. The hearing before the Circuit Court comes less than one day after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the law to briefly go into effect, before the 5th Circuit temporarily put another hold on it a few hours later.

SB4 is part of the ongoing battle between Texas and the Biden administration over border policy and the flow of migrants into the United States. Immigration enforcement is typically government by the federal government, however Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the law in December making the illegal entry into Texas a state crime, which in turn allows state judges to order immigrants to be deported.

Wednesday’s arguments were over whether the intermediate court should block the law while it considers the larger legal challenge to it. Attorneys for both sides made their arguments Wednesday on why the hold should – or should not – be continued; it remains unclear when the next decision might come. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued a statement Wednesday saying, in part, that the law could be used to target people just for “looking like an immigrant;” her full statement can be found: here.

Editorial credit: robertindiana /