Welcome to FindLaw's coverage of existing Texas legislation and rules related to individuals' immigration status. Below you will find information on what, if any, rules Texas has regarding immigration checks by law enforcement, educational institutions, and employers, as well as the existence of E-Verify requirements, restrictions on public benefits based on an individual's immigration status, and more.
Law Enforcement and Immigration in Texas
As part of the 287(g) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ACCESS Program, police in Carrollton, Farmers Branch, and Harris County cooperate with federal authorities in enforcing federal immigration law.
Under a federal program called "Secure Communities," all arrestees are fingerprinted and run through a federal database which checks their criminal record and immigration status. Many cities across the country have declared they will not comply with the Secure Communities enforcement program. Be sure to check with your city's local government to learn more.
Refer to federal employment eligibility verification rules and the requirements for Form I-9.
Texas E-Verify Requirements
Anyone hired by a state agency and public college must have their information checked through E-Verify.
Driver's License/ID Requirements
A valid Social Security Card is one of several types of identification acceptable (but not necessarily required) for obtaining a driver's license or state ID.
Public Benefits Restrictions
Participation in the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs restricted to U.S. citizens and legal residents only.
Under federal law, illegal immigrants are prohibited from receiving most public benefits. However, they are allowed to receive emergency services, health care and other programs that have been deemed "necessary to protect life and safety."
The children of illegal aliens are allowed to pay in-state tuition at public universities.
Voting ID Rules
Valid and current photo identification required to vote. Examples include a driver's license, U.S. military ID, U.S. citizenship certificate and U.S. passport. However, a voter with a valid ID may still vote after signing an affidavit (following the ruling of a federal judge).
Housing Ordinances and Immigration
Consider Getting Legal Help with Your Texas Immigration Law Needs
While immigration law matters are handled exclusively by the federal government, states often pass laws and create policies that have an impact on immigrants, such as restrictions on public assistance. If you have questions about your immigration rights in Texas, or need immediate help, you may benefit from meeting with an experienced immigration attorney.
Contact a qualified immigration attorney to help you get the best results possible.