ACLU issues advisory: "Traveling to Texas may result in violation of Constitutional rights"

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Just wait until the first time a brown-skinned cop asks a white guy for proof of citizenship and you’ll have a bunch of rednecks screaming about a government out of control.


How does this all work, anyway? US Citizens aren’t required to carry any proof of citizenship in the US.


It’s almost as if the law is unconstitutional on the face of it…


ACLU issues advisory: “Traveling to Texas may result in violation of Constitutional rights”

Hate to break it to the uninitiated, but that been the case for well over 100 years.


Local Texas police are speaking out against this law. I think characterizing it as ‘giving the right to’ is a bit off. We have anti-sanctuary city laws now. Governments and police departments who don’t actively assist I.C.E. now might suffer penalties from the state.


I know in my old county the sheriff didn’t bother with immigration enforcement. Jail couldn’t hold them all even if he did. ICE rarely came out to pick them up nor do they reimburse the county. It wasn’t publisized, besides the ranchers and contractors liked the cheap labor.


So the Checkpoint Charlie sign goes on the Congress Street bridge as you’re leaving Austin?

(Yes, that line’s stolen from my friend Emma, from a discussion about “Texas wants to secede again” “ok, but we get to keep Austin”, back when the GOP was pretending they wanted to rebuild the Confederacy.)


Yet. Or we’re looking at a Born in East L.A. scenario.

Either way…

I do wish we had something in the constitution that lawmakers are held personally liable for court costs if legislation they passed is ruled unconstitutional.


My reading of the law is that if a person is detained for a criminal offense he may be questioned as to his immigration status and inquiries may be made of Federal agencies also. Please read the bill for yourself at

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I’m pretty sure that my New York driver’s license won’t serve as proof of Confederate citizenship…


I call that the “When Irony Becomes ‘Hey, Now Wait Just One Gosh Darned Minute’” effect.


The text of the law – which was passed on Feb. 8, 2017 – can be found here: SB4 text

The law requires that the cops cooperate with ICE or face stiff penalties. This is basically punishing/forbidding Austin from being a sanctuary city.

The gist of the act is mostly:

  • this all applies to lawfully detained persons, who are not victims or witnesses to a crime.
  • officers are allowed to ask about status, send information or requests for information to Feds, keeping the info in their own files, exchanging such info with other entities, assist Feds as necessary, enter a jail to enforce immigration laws.
  • other officers and officials can’t stop them from doing that, or set up policies against do that.
  • LEAs and Judges have to hold onto anyone for whome they get a detainer request from the Feds, and inform them that’s why they’re being detained.
  • Penalties are $1k for first offense or day, $25k per offense/continuing day after. Officials such as Judges or Sheriffs may be removed from office. That goes into some sort of fund for victims of yadda, yadda, yadda.
  • They can’t consider race, color, religion, language, or national origin except as allowed under the consitutions. They don’t have to go down the rabbit hole if they can prove they’re a U.S. citizen or lawful resident, as by presenting a Texas Driver’s License or other government ID.

So to answer your question: if you have an ID, that’s probably the end of it. (I’m sure it’s written to not be 100% the end of it, because Texas does issue licenses to resident aliens, leaving the possibility that the license has outlived a person’s legal resident status, though that seems like a weird edge case.)


Well, email these guys and see if they can get on that.

ETA - Also, never carry large sums of cash, especially in small towns, including in Texas.



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Eh I have family there, so probably will at some point.

ETA - Fun fact, my ancestors settled in Central Texas from Bohemia, and, gasp, didn’t speak English. In fact my grandmother had a Czech accent even though she was born in Texas, because they didn’t assimilate. Well, eventually they did, but that was only 3 generations ago.


Some states accept refugees! :wink:

The law defines a lawfully detained person as “means the detention of an individual by a local entity, state criminal justice agency, or campus police department for the investigation of a criminal offense.” So unless, the traffic stop is for a criminal offense this law says nothing about it.

If the person can produce a government ID showing citizenship then the LEO need not honor an immigration detainer. The law says nothing about showing an ID in any other circumstance.

…and three such rulings lead to immediate impeachment.

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