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San Antonio Immigration Law Blog

Growing resistance to Texas' new immigration laws

Legal battles are looming after Gov. Greg Abbott signed the controversial Senate Bill 4 in spite of heavy opposition from leaders in the state’s major metropolitan areas. The law set to go into effect on September 1 could extend federal immigration enforcement into local police departments.

San Antonio and other communities committed to their sanctuary statuses would be forced to scrap their current policies of prohibiting law enforcement from inquiring about immigration status in routine encounters. Opponents of the new law also fear that police chiefs, sheriffs and other law enforcement officials would be powerless to stop their officers from asking about citizenship.

The continued criminalization of undocumented immigrants

Changes to the nation’s immigration and enforcement laws, if not the entire apparatus continue. The latest volley by Republican lawmaker has taken the form of legislation currently going through the committee process with little notice.

Three bills currently in the House Judiciary Committee would establish new powers to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It would call for the hiring of more deportation officials and equip them with body armor and assault rifles.

A Texas travel advisory over new immigration laws

The fallout from Texas’ new immigration law continues. Protests within and outside that state border continue. The campaign promises of Gov. Greg Abbott have become a welcome relief for some and a harsh reality for others.

However, a far different response to Gov. Greg Abbott’s Sunday signing of the controversial bill provides another wrinkle, if not an interesting twist. An ominous warning has come from a prominent organization.

Is this the end of sanctuary cities in Texas?

As Texas prisons, both public and private, begin to fill up with undocumented immigrants that have criminal records, more cells may be necessary. Sanctuary cities have been in the crosshairs since the election of Gov. Greg Abbott. However, a new law may also target state law enforcement officials.

Following weeks of debate, protests and sit-ins at the state Capital, legislators passed Senate Bill 4. Legal experts claim that the bill that Abbott has vowed to sign is even more stringent than Arizona’s 2010 law.

Don't work up problems in the E-visa program

Texas is one of the largest of all 50 states. Its vast landscapes are filled with people of diverse backgrounds, races and ethnicities. Many are born and raised right here in the Lone Star State. Others emigrate from across the nation. Then, there are those who cross Texas borders from lands across the sea, many of whom take up residence through employment-based visa programs. If you came to the United States to work, the last thing you need is for problems to arise with your visa or status.

As you likely already know, a prospective employer is also under obligation with regard to workers hired through employment-based visas. Typically, one of the first things an employer must do is obtain certification approval from the Department of Labor. This is merely one step in what is often a very complex process. If an employer fails to follow through on his or her end of the deal, an immigrant worker like yourself may face a whole lot of problems.

Is Texas on its way to becoming a “papers please” state?

Since his election in 2014, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott has made it his mission to end sanctuary policies in the Lone Star State. He even cited the issue as an emergency item in his State of the State address.

Abbott has been emboldened by the presidency of Donald Trump. Yet, prioritizing the issue has created significant opposition. Perhaps his most notable opponent is Sally Hernandez, the sheriff of Travis County where the governor cut state enforcement grants because of Hernandez’s non-compliance.

How do Texans feel about state and federal immigration policies?

When it comes to the subject of undocumented immigration, few states – border and otherwise – have been swept to the forefront of prominence more than Texas. Seemingly every day, new disputes arise as existing controversies continue to percolate.

State leaders and county authorities have drawn their respective lines in the sand. Loud and powerful voices have been heard.

The end of "catch and release?"

As the Trump administration continues to increase their enforcement of immigration laws, cases languish, numbering more than a half a billion. Thousands of nonviolent undocumented immigrants, including asylum seekers, remain locked in detention centers with their legal status in an uncertain “gray area.”

To date, the average detainee likely waits 677 days for a hearing. In an effort to expedite the process, officials are choosing to go around the court system. Solving the problem takes the form of sending immigrants back to their countries of origin without allowing them a day in court.

Jails for sale?

In spite of a presidential Executive Order-inspired ramp-up in immigration law enforcement efforts, many Texas county jails continue to struggle with a diminished population and growing debts. Detention centers have few, if any prisoners to fill their cellblocks.

Hope is around the corner to not only increase their population, but also improve their bottom line by “cashing in,” filling empty jail cells with undocumented immigrants.

Does automatic acquisition apply to your situation?

Many Texas residents came to the United States from other lands. Others are U.S. citizens planning marriages to people who are not yet citizens. You or someone you love may be familiar with the often complex and confusing laws pertaining to immigration. For example, a process known as "automatic acquisition" is primarily associated with children born outside the U.S. and/or children with one citizen-parent and one non-citizen parent. It can be quite challenging to understand the regulations that govern such matters.

Basically, there are four main ways to become a U.S. citizen. One of those ways is to acquire your citizenship by virtue of your relationship to another citizen. In fact, some people are citizens, yet they do not realize they are. Because the potential exists for myriad problems to arise if you do not clearly understand such laws, it's typically best to research the issues that apply to you and seek answers to any questions you have regarding you or your child's status.

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Trevino Immigration Law | 206 E. Locust Street | San Antonio, TX 78212 | Toll Free: 877-464-5593 | Phone: 210-544-5105 | Fax: 210-568-4649 | San Antonio Law Office Map

Trevino Immigration Law, 206 E. Locust Street, San Antonio, TX 78212