Texas has recently passed new legislation promoting racial profiling and increased surveillance
What’s going on in Texas? One of the frontlines of immigration in the US, Texas has cracked down hard on immigration. Two bills attempting to reduce immigrant’s rights were recently proposed, one of which was signed into law in the Texas State Legislature.
The first of the bills, Senate Bill 1018, “licensed family detention centers as childcare facilities,” according to the Texas Observer. The proposed Texas legislation was written by a lobbyist for a GEO Group, a private prison corporation, and would have lowered Texas state standards so that these private prisons could detain children seeking asylum for months at a time. The bill passed in the Senate, but fortunately did not pass in the House, effectively killing the bill.
“Sanctuary Cities” (SB4)
The second bill, SB4 (known as the bill that bans sanctuary cities), was passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott. SB4 is also known as the “show me your papers” law, and relies on racial profiling and increased community surveillance pertaining to immigration statuses. Additionally, victims and witnesses to crime who were previously protected from relaying their immigration status can now be asked to provide that information. The law is similar to Arizona’s SB 1070 bill, passed into law in 2010. The new Texas law is set to be in effect on September 1st, 2017.
This law not only enlists police as immigration enforcers, but also city council members, members of county commissions or other local governing bodies, sheriffs, district and city attorneys and even police on the campuses of colleges and universities. Officials working for these agencies can now be removed from their position for not complying with ICE officials, and the law encourages citizens to turn in their local officials for not complying with the law. Additionally, anyone who is sued for complying with the new law is promised defense by the state attorney general.
What does this mean nationally?
United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth led organization in the nation, is taking the fight of SB4 nationwide because they believe that lawmakers in other states will try to pass laws like SB4. On May 29th in Texas, protests will be held in opposition to the Bill SB4’s passage, kicking off a summer of resistance with people from all over the country joining in.
Community members will be meeting on the steps of the Texas capitol all summer to “protest, resist, educate, and inform the national community on what we can do to stop this racist law in Texas — and how to fight back in other states as well,” United We Dream stated. The group is raising money to make their voices heard and their protest campaign a success. To donate to the group click here.
All Photo Credit goes to United We Dream
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