Statement on Signing of Texas Anti-Immigrant SB4 Law

May 7, 2017

Juan Gastelum, [email protected], 213-375-3149

NILC Statement on Signing of Texas Anti-Immigrant SB4 Law

LOS ANGELES — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday signed into law SB4, a sweeping and hateful bill that ranks among the most radically anti-immigrant state-level bills to be enacted in recent history.

Among other devastating provisions, SB4 includes “show me your papers” language that will invite rampant racial profiling by enabling local law enforcement officials—including university campus police—to ask about a person’s immigration status. By preventing local entities from limiting their role in carrying out federal immigration enforcement, it endangers the health and public safety of all Texas residents.

And, as the first state law to mandate compliance with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement civil detainers—which numerous federal courts around the country have found to violate federal law and the Constitution—SB4 forces local law enforcement to choose between potentially breaking the highest law of the land or facing monetary fines or even jail time.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“SB4 is Governor Abbott’s shameful and malicious attempt to carry out the Trump agenda of mass deportation. But immigrants are and have always been essential to the fabric of Texas, which is why we have seen powerful community organizing and widespread opposition from diverse constituents, including law enforcement. Immigrants and our allies will not stand for being terrorized by Abbott and this cruel bill.

“We only need to look at Arizona’s SB1070, Alabama’s HB56, and copycat laws as an example of the devastating social and economic effects that follow after a state is branded as hostile to immigrant communities. Rather than recognize and embrace their contributions, Texas’s Republican-controlled government has unfortunately chosen to follow in the footsteps of states like Arizona, Alabama, and other states whose communities, economies and reputations suffered tremendous losses from similar efforts.

“SB4 is hateful, ideology-driven, race-based policy. Texas voters will not forget who turned their backs on their neighbors, family, and friends, to enact this shameful law.”

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