As a landmark border security law is embroiled in legal challenges, the Dallas City Council is set to consider a resolution condemning the law. 

Senate Bill 4 was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in late December of last year and simultaneously criminalizes illegal entry into the state of Texas while empowering law enforcement to arrest illegal aliens.

The legislation has been caught up in a lawsuit by the Biden administration, which asserts that the law is “clearly unconstitutional.”

In addition to the Biden administration’s lawsuit, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and the Texas Civil Rights Project have challenged the law. 

The law was supposed to take effect in March, but a federal court has temporarily blocked it. 

The Dallas resolution states that enforcing SB 4 would strain police resources and negatively impact relationships with the community. 

Additionally, it asserts that “The City of Dallas serves residents on a daily basis to deliver public services, and requesting or investigating immigration status during those interactions is a federal matter outside the city’s jurisdiction.”

However,  Republican State Rep. David Spiller of Jacksboro, who sponsored SB 4 in the House, said in an interview last year that the measure is not an immigration law, but a criminal trespass law. 

“That’s generally the only tool. Unless an officer sees something more serious as an undue advance to something of a felony or something else. Generally, the only tool that they have now is to prosecute people under criminal trespass,” Spiller told Fox 4 News.

Dallas City Councilman Adam Bazaldua—who proposed the resolution—told the other council members that he believes the law is unconstitutional and that the city should recognize the fear that some citizens would have if it were to take effect. 

“The last thing we need is a stop-and-frisk mentality for certain vulnerable communities in our city,” said Bazaldua. “I think it’s important that we make all communities feel welcome and know that we stand for that.”

However, Kinney County Attorney Brent Smith, whose border county has been deluged with illegal crossings, told Texas Scorecard that the council members should think about the citizens they serve, instead of themselves. 

“Many Texans along the Mexican border have been subjected to the lawlessness and chaos that comes from Biden’s open border policies. Families have been forced to relocate to safer areas or take security measures unheard of in any developed country to simply protect their homes,” said Smith. “Before a city council decides to condemn those efforts taken by our legislature in protecting their fellow Texans, I would suggest they review their oath of office to clarify who they actually serve. However, at the end of the day, the only Texans that care what resolution the Dallas City Council passes are likely the council members themselves.”

Dallas City Council members will discuss the resolution during their June 12 meeting. 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.