Texas Senate Bill 4 set to take effect unless challenged by Supreme Court

The Texas' controversial immigration law could go into effect after a federal appeals court ruling. This ruling tentatively allows law enforcement officials in the state to apprehend and detain individuals found illegally crossing the border.

A federal judge previously blocked the law. In response, Texas Governor Greg Abbott appealed the ruling. The Federal Appeals court put the ruling on hold for seven days. The law will go into effect on March 9 if the Supreme Court doesn't act during that time.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Texas House approves bill allowing police to arrest people who cross the border illegally

The Texas Senate Bill 4, commonly called the border bill, aims to toughen immigration enforcement by introducing stricter penalties for illegal immigrants. The bill would make it a state misdemeanor to cross the border from Mexico into Texas illegally, allowing Texas peace officers to arrest undocumented immigrants, and require a state court to order the person to leave the country in lieu of prosecution.

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The law targets repeat offenders by introducing the offense of illegal reentry, carrying penalties of up to 20 years in prison.

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