The Hispanic Issues Section has helped to draft and support a piece of legislation in the 2013 legislative session. The legislation, House Bill 823 / Senate Bill 361, would require magistrates to inform criminal defendants that pleas of no contest or guilty could have an impact on their immigration status. The purpose of the legislation is to inform defendants of a potential effect of a no contest or guilty plea–one that frequently goes unstated and unknown until it is too late.
Update – the Senate version failed to pass the House on third reading after being amended on the floor. You can keep track of any further developments at the Texas Legislature’s website at this link.