Texas Legislature

To track legislation while the Texas Legislature is in session, go to Texas Legislature Online.

2011 Legislative Session

Arizona Copycat & “Sanctuary Cities”Cost of Services | Drivers’ Licenses/Identification Documents | Economic Development | Education | Employer SanctionsExclusion from Citizenship | Jail and Prison Policy | New Crimes | New Taxes and Fees | Other Services & Benefits | Other Police Powers | Other Miscellaneous Bills | Resolutions | Temporary Worker Program

 Although immigration has been a hot topic at the Texas Legislature for several sessions, the 2011 Legislative Session saw the most intense effort so far by those determined to restrict new Americans’ rights and access to services.

The “Read the bill” link will take you to Texas Legislature Online, where you can read the legislative history and text of the bill.  In addition, some bills are linked to fact sheets that were prepared during the session to explain the impact of the bill to legislators and their staff.

In December 2010 the House Committee on State Affairs produced a report on “illegal immigration” as part of their Interim Report to the 82nd Texas Legislature.  This report, which starts on page four of the larger document, provides useful background on the issue of immigration in Texas.

Although more than 100 immigration-related bills were filed during the Regular Session of the 82nd Texas Legislature, only a handful became law:

•    HB 260 (Hilderbran): Creating 3rd degree felony for “smuggling” a person.  Smuggling is defined as the intentional use of a vehicle to conceal a person from law enforcement.  Read the bill »

•    HB 2734 (Madden): Makes transfer to ICE custody or immediate departure from the United States a mandatory condition of parole or probation for those defined as “illegal criminal aliens” under Texas law. Read the bill »

•    SB 420 (Deull) and HB 655 (Taylor, Van): Permits financial information from a Legal Permanent Resident’s sponsor and sponsor’s spouse to be included in determining eligibility for indigent healthcare. Read the bill »

•    SB 1009 (Huffman) and HB 743 (Sheffield): Requires public universities and colleges to notify the federal Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS) regarding the withdrawal or nonattendance of certain foreign students. Read the bill »

Bills that did not become law are listed below, divided by subject matter:

Arizona Copycat & “Sanctuary Cities”

Texas’ 2011 Legislative Session was dominated by debate over one set of immigration-related proposals, Arizona SB 1070 copycat bills referred to by supporters as “Sanctuary Cities” legislation.  The legislation, opposed by Texas police departments, was defeated as a result of the combined effort of grassroots organizations, business leaders, religious leaders and their faith communities, and civil rights advocacy groups, as well as law enforcement and local government.  Key bills include:

•    HB 12 (Solomons) and SB 11 (Williams): Most prominent “Sanctuary Cities” legislation during the regular legislative session.  Prohibits local governmental entities (including municipal and school district police departments) from having a policy of not fully enforcing federal immigration laws (by default creating a policy of enforcing immigration laws). Read the bill »

HB 12 ACLU TX Fact Sheet

SB 9/SB 11 ACLU TX Fact Sheet

HB 12/SB 11 TCJC Fact Sheet

HB 12 TRUST Floor Flyer

•    HB 18 (Riddle): Attempts to address “Sanctuary Cities” by mandating the enforcement of federal immigration laws by certain governmental entities. Read the bill »

•    HB 113 (Harless) and SB 124 (Patrick): Mandates the enforcement of state and federal laws governing immigration by state and local law enforcement; includes penalties for non-compliance/non-enforcement. Read the bill »

•    HB 247 (Solomons) and HB 1375 (Bohac): Mandates the enforcement of federal immigration laws by certain governmental entities. Read the bill »

•    HB 296 (Berman): Mandates the local and state enforcement of immigration laws.  Read the bill »

•    HB 302 (Berman): Mandates the enforcement of federal immigration laws by certain governmental entities; includes penalties for non-compliance/non-enforcement. Read the bill »

•    HB 623 (Bonnen): Requires the verification of immigration status by state police and agencies, and the reporting of unauthorized immigration.  Restricts access to certain occupational licenses, drivers’ licenses, and identification cards.  Establishes English as the official language of Texas. Read the bill »

Fact Sheet for HB 623

•    HB 838 (Elkins): Prohibits a local governmental body from restricting its employees from enforcing federal laws, including immigration-related laws. Read the bill »

•    SB 126 (Patrick): Mandates that it is the duty of a peace officer to inquire into the immigration status of certain persons. Read the bill »

•    HB 9 (Solomons) – Special Session: Prohibits local governmental entities (including municipal and school district police departments) from having a policy of not fully enforcing federal immigration laws. Read the bill »

•    SB 9 (Williams) – Special Session: Grants state and local peace officers the ability to inquire about the immigration status of lawfully detained persons. Read the bill »

SB 9 Special Session ACLU TX Fact Sheet

SB 9 Special Session TCJC Fact Sheet

Cost of Services

•    HB 21 (Riddle): Requires state agencies to provide an accounting of expenditures related to the provision of services to individuals “not lawfully present in the United States,” as part of legislative appropriation requests. Read the bill »

•    HB 608 (Zerwas): Requires state agencies to report on the cost of services and benefits provided to undocumented immigrants, without taking into account the revenues generated by undocumented immigrants. Read the bill »

•    HB 59 (Riddle) – Special Session: Requires state agencies to provide an analysis of the financial effect of providing services to undocumented immigrants. Read the bill »

Drivers’ Licenses/Identification Documents

•    HB 177 (Jackson): Requires citizenship or lawful presence in the United States for issuance or renewal of certain occupational licenses, drivers’ licenses, and identification certificates. Read the bill »

•    HB 467 (Burnam): Requires drivers’ licenses and state identification documents to be issued in the same format and include the same type of information for all individuals.  Eliminates the power of the department to deny a license to an individual who had otherwise proven identity, domicile, competency, and eligibility. Read the bill »

•    HB 598 (Jackson): Requires motor vehicle registration applicants to provide proof of a valid driver’s license. Read the bill »

•    HB 615 (Kleinschmidt): Requires that certain tests required for the issuance of a driver’s license or commercial driver’s license to be conducted in English. Read the bill »

•    HB 1186 (Howard): Requires proof of citizenship in order to be issued a school ID or driver’s license. Read the bill »

•    HB 2026 (McClendon): Requires proof of identity and residency for issuance of a driver’s license or personal identification certificate. Read the bill »

•    HB 2805 (Phillips): Requires citizenship or lawful presence in the United States for issuance of a driver’s license, personal identification certificate, commercial driver’s license, or commercial driver learner’s permit. Read the bill »

Economic Development

•    HB 397 (Gonzales) and SB 965 (Uresti): Provides for the creation of the Bureau for Economic Development of the Border Region. Read the bill »

•    SB 1809 (Lucio): Requires a study by the Comptroller of Public Accounts on the economic impact of the Texas-Mexico border wall in Texas. Read the bill »

Education

•    HB 22 (Riddle): Mandates that public schools check the citizenship and immigration status of public school students and provide the information obtained to the Texas Education Agency. Read the bill »

Fact Sheet for HB 22

•    HB 428 (Fletcher): Prohibits foreign consuls from accessing public school campuses and institutions of higher education. Read the bill »

•    HB 464 (Kleinschmit): Adjusts the qualifications for resident status by public institutions of higher education, thereby preventing undocumented students from obtaining in-state tuition. Read the bill »

•    HB 1212 (Fletcher): Incorporates citizenship status into the application process for public universities. Read the bill »

•    HB 1238 (Zedler) and SB 1631 (Birdwell): Repeals in-state tuition for undocumented students by removing the ability for undocumented students to qualify for resident status by public institutions of higher education. Read the bill »

•    HB 1387 (Cain): Requires lawful presence for eligibility for state educational benefits. Read the bill »

•    HB 1857 (Perry): Repeals in-state tuition for undocumented students. Read the bill »

•    HB 1927 (Zedler): Requires lawful presence in the United States for receipt of state educational benefits, and requires a determination of resident status and tuition rates of students by public institutions of higher education. Read the bill »

•    HB 2011 (Sheets): Gives admission preference to legal U.S. citizens for all public universities. Read the bill »

•    HB 3185 (Paxton): Incorporates citizenship status into the application process for public universities. Read the bill »

Employer Sanctions

•    HB 140 (Laubenberg): Requires state contractors or grant recipients to participate in the federal electronic verification of work authorization program, or E-Verify, and adds a civil penalty for failure to comply. Read the bill »

•    HB 178 (Jackson): Requires state contractors or grant recipients to participate in E-Verify and adds a civil penalty for failure to comply. Read the bill »

•    HB 202 (Solomons): Requires state contractors or grant recipients to participate in E-Verify and adds a civil penalty for failure to comply. Read the bill »

•    HB 296 (Berman): Includes new criminal sanctions and employer sanctions as part of an omnibus immigration bill. Read the bill »

•    HB 582 (Button): Creates a new requirement of participation in E-Verify in order for a business to receive a public subsidy. Read the bill »

•    HB 601 (Jackson): Requires state contractors or grant recipients to participate in E-Verify and adds a civil penalty for failure to comply. Read the bill »

•    HB 878 (Howard): Requires state contractors or grant recipients to participate in E-Verify and adds a civil penalty for failure to comply. Read the bill »

•    HB 1035 (Legler): Imposes restrictive immigration documentation mandates for the issuance of a Texas driver’s license. Read the bill »

•    HB 1272 (Miller): Requires employers to participate in E-Verify. Read the bill »

•    HB 1275 (Harless): Suspends certain licenses of employers who knowingly employ undocumented workers. Read the bill »

•    HB 1888 (Miller, Sid): Requires employers to participate in E-Verify and creates an administrative penalty for failure to comply. Read the bill »

•    HB 2878 (Berman): Creates a private cause of action for employing or contracting with undocumented immigrants and can result in a criminal offense and forfeiture of property for employers. Read the bill »

•    HB 3129 (Price): Requires employers to participate in E-Verify and creates an administrative penalty for failure to comply. Read the bill »

•    HB 3240 (Davis, Yvonne): Requires employers and the Texas Workforce Commission to participate in E-Verify. Read the bill »

•    HB 3252 (Chisum): Prohibits the knowing employment of undocumented immigrants and creates administrative penalties. Read the bill »

•    HB 3667 (Pena): Establishes and administrates an employment verification compliance program. Read the bill »

•    SB 84 (Nelson): Requires state contractors or grant recipients to participate in E-Verify and adds a civil penalty for failure to comply. Read the bill »

English-Only and Language Access

•    HB 81 (Flynn): Prevents any state agency from using public money to print public documents in any language other than English. Read the bill »

•    HB 176 (Jackson, Jim): Designates English as the official language of Texas. Read the bill »

•    HB 301 (Berman): Establishes English as the official language of Texas and requires that official acts of government be performed in English. Read the bill »

•    HB 623 (Bonnen): Requires the verification of immigration status by state police and agencies, and the reporting of unauthorized immigration.  Restricts access to certain occupational licenses, drivers’ licenses, and identification cards.  Establishes English as the official language of Texas. Read the bill »

Fact Sheet for HB 623

•    HB 1633 (Bonnen): Establishes that a person cannot serve on a jury if he or she cannot read or write in English. Read the bill »

•    HB 2749 (Martinez Fischer):  Provides legislative information on the Internet in Spanish. Read the bill »

•    HB 47 (Bonnen) – Special Session: Establishes that a person cannot serve on a jury if he or she cannot read or write in English. Read the bill »

Exclusion from Citizenship

•    HB 292 (Berman): Prohibits the issuance of Texas birth certificate to certain infants born in Texas to immigrant parents. Read the bill »

Jail and Prison Policy

•    HB 183 (Solomon) and HB 1382 (Bohac): Mandates that it is a duty of a law enforcement agency to verify the immigration status of a person under arrest. Read the bill »

HB 183 ACLU TX Fact Sheet

HB 183 TCJC Fact Sheet

HB 183 TCJC Amended Fact Sheet

•    HB 875 (Howard): Requires that Sheriffs or other officers verify the immigration status of defendants and report them to federal immigration authorities. Read the bill »

Fact Sheet for HB 875

•    HB 1294 (Shelton) and SB 151 (Huffman): Makes undocumented immigrants ineligible to receive a sentence of community supervision, including deferred adjudication community supervision. Read the bill »

Fact Sheet for HB 1294

•    HB 1800 (Bonnen): Requires state and local law enforcement to check the citizenship status of detainees within 48 hours of arrest. Read the bill »

•    SB 1698 (Williams): Requires counties to provide on a monthly basis the number of prisoners confined that are not U.S. citizens or who are undocumented. Read the bill »

•    HB 10 (Solomons) – Special Session: Mandates that it is the duty of a peace officer to inquire into the immigration status of certain persons. Read the bill »

•    HB 11 (Solomons) – Special Session: Mandates that it is the duty of a peace officer to inquire into the immigration status of certain persons through the use of the Secure Communities program. Read the bill »

New Crimes

•    HB 17 (Riddle): Creates an arrestable offense of criminal trespass by being in Texas without lawful immigration status. Read the bill »

Fact Sheet for HB 17

•    HB 19 (Riddle): Creates a penalty for undocumented immigrants who cause an accident without a driver’s license and a penalty for operation of a motor vehicle without a license. Read the bill »

•    HB 292 (Berman): Removes birthright citizenship and creates an offense if a person tries to use a temporary report as evidence to support a claim of citizenship.  Read the bill »

•    HB 296 (Berman): Includes new criminal sanctions and harsher penalties within the penal code related to immigration. Read the bill »

•    HB 763 (Lozano) and SB 146 (Hinojosa): Creates an offense for the unlawful transport of an undocumented person.  Compromise language was added to HB 260, which became law (see above).” Read the bill »

•    HB 804 (Lewis): Creates an offense of illegal voting by a person who is not a United States citizen. Read the bill »

•    HB 892 (Howard): Creates an offense of unlawful transport of an undocumented person. Read the bill »

HB 892 TCJC Fact Sheet

HB 892 ACLU TX Fact Sheet

•    HB 1084 (Lewis): Creates an offense of registering to vote by non-citizen. Read the bill »

•    HB 1202 (Riddle): Makes it a state jail felony to knowingly hire undocumented workers in Texas. Read the bill »

Fact Sheet for CSHB 1202

•    HB 1529 (Miller, Sid) and SB 1112 (Wentworth): Makes it a crime to fraudulently use a social security number alone, without it being linked to the name of the person to which it belongs. Read the bill »

•    HB 2450 (Jackson) and SB 1254 (Carona): Creates an offense for employing an individual not lawfully present in the United States. Read the bill »

•    HB 2878 (Berman): Creates new crimes, including criminal trespass of an undocumented immigrant. Read the bill »

•    HB 3464 (Aliseda): Creates a state jail felony for making a false statement on a voter registration application. Read the bill »

•    SB 394 (Patrick): Creates an offense of unlawful transportation of an undocumented person. Read the bill »

•    HB 57 (Riddle) – Special Session: Creates an offense of criminal trespass by an undocumented person and creates certain procedures for arresting persons committing the offense. Read the bill »

•    HB 58 (Riddle) – Special Session: Creates an offense for employing or contracting with an undocumented immigrant. Read the bill »

New Taxes and Fees

•    HB 303 (Berman): Provides for the creation of a remittance tax, a fee for monetary transmissions sent outside the United States. Read the bill »

Other Services & Benefits (outside of education, discussed above)

•    HB 197 (Solomons): Requires certain immigration documentation before a person may engage in a licensed occupation. Read the bill »

•    HB 293 (Berman): Prohibits children born in this state to certain immigrant parents from receiving state benefits. Read the bill »

•    HB 294 (Berman): Prohibits a person without proof of immigration status in the United States from bringing a claim in a state court. Read the bill »

•    HB 474 (Lewis): Requires proof of work eligibility to apply for certain public benefit programs. Read the bill »

•    HB 623 (Bonnen): Requires the verification of immigration status by state police and agencies, and the reporting of unauthorized immigration.  Restricts access to certain occupational licenses, drivers’ licenses, and identification cards.  Establishes English as the official language of Texas. Read the bill »

Fact Sheet for HB 623

•    HB 1239 (Zedler): Prohibits the construction of or operation led by a local government entity of a day labor center used to facilitate the employment of individuals not lawfully present in the United States. Read the bill »

•    HB 1257 (Kolkhorst): Requires proof of citizenship or legal immigration status for approval of certain public benefits. Read the bill »

•    HB 1466 (Hernandez Luna): Authorizes a suit to declare that certain young persons have been abused, neglected, or abandoned, and extends the jurisdiction of certain courts in making such a declaration. Read the bill »

•    HB 1553 (Larson): Requires citizenship information to be reported by persons, including state agencies, political subdivisions of Texas, nonprofit organizations, and public and private entities, who receive local or state money to provide services. Read the bill »

•    HB 2260 (Zedler): Requires proof of lawful presence in order to receive public benefits. Read the bill »

•    HB 3537 (Taylor, Van): Requires that the Health and Human Services Commission check whether a person applying for benefits is a sponsored legal permanent resident; if so, the Commission will request reimbursement from the sponsors for certain public benefits that were provided. Read the bill »

Other Police Powers (See Arizona Copycat & “Sanctuary Cities” for additional legislation in this category)

•    HB 48 (Pena), SB 288 (Lucio), and SB 294 (Hinojosa): Authorizes the Department of Public Safety of Texas to investigate the feasibility of and cooperate in the establishment of southbound checkpoints along the international border of Texas.  Read the bill »

•    HB 311 (Geren) and SB 259 (Harris): Mandates that it is the duty of a peace officer to inquire into the immigration status of certain persons. Read the bill »

•    HB 532 (Lewis): Mandates that it is a duty of a law enforcement agency to verify the immigration status of a person under arrest. Read the bill »

•    HB 603 (Farrar) and SB 600 (Rodriguez): Prohibits law enforcement inquiries into the nationality or immigration status of a victim of or witness to a crime. Read the bill »

Fact Sheet for HB 603

•    HB 837 (Taylor, Van): Grants peace officers the authority to request thumb prints during motor vehicle stops. Read the bill »

•    HB 1297 (Paxton): Requires state enforcement of certain federal immigration laws. Read the bill »

•    HB 1455 (Kolkhorst): Requires that law enforcement agencies release certain suspected deportable immigrants at the office of a United States senator or United States representative. Read the bill »

•    SB 9 (Williams): Mandates that it is a duty of a law enforcement agency to verify the immigration status of a person under arrest and notify ICE if it cannot determine immigration status.  Also requires the Department of Public Safety to verify the immigration status of license applicants, and denies drivers’ licenses to certain immigrants with visas. Read the bill »

SB 9/SB 11 ACLU TX Fact Sheet

SB 9 TCJC Fact Sheet

•    SB 1700 (Williams): Allows the Department of Public Safety to create checkpoints to check drivers’ licenses of persons operating motor vehicles. Read the bill »

•    HB 84 (Miller, Sid) – Special Session: Allows the Department of Public Safety to create checkpoints near Texas’ international border for the purpose of preventing certain criminal offenses. Read the bill »

•    SB 43 (Lucio) – Special Session: Authorizes the Department of Public Safety to operate southbound vehicle checkpoints near Texas’ international border. Read the bill »

Other Miscellaneous Bills

•    HB 2027 (McClendon): Grants courts the power to order a person to officially declare a place and date of birth. Read the bill »

Resolutions

•    HCR 88 (Garza): Urges Congress to enact an overhaul of the immigration system to promote economic prosperity and national security. Read the bill »

•    HCR 158 (Hartnett): Urges the U.S. government to grant conditional green cards to certain non-citizens to allow them to enlist in the U.S. armed forces, and to award citizenship to such immigrants upon completion of four years of honorable military service. Read the bill »

•    HJR 38 (Berman): Proposes a constitutional amendment to establish English as the official language of Texas and requires that official acts of government be performed in English. Read the bill »

•    HJR 86 (Murphy): Proposes a state constitutional amendment denying bail to certain persons who are unlawfully present in the United States and who are taken into custody for committing a felony. Read the bill »

Fact Sheet for HJR 86

•    SCR 36 (Williams): Urges the Texas congressional delegation to provide the State Legislature a cost analysis of the funding necessary for full enforcement of all immigration laws in Texas. Read the bill »

Temporary Worker Program

•    HB 2757 (Pena): Establishes a migrant worker visa pilot project and the Texas Commission on Immigration and Migration to study the project. Read the bill »

•    HB 2886 (Workman): Establishes a work program for certain persons not legally authorized to be in the United States. Read the bill »