A familiar chant heard at many rallies goes something like this:
are welcome here!
Unless you’re in Texas where Governor Abbott on Sunday, in an unannounced appearance on Facebook Live, signed into law SB 4, essentially banning sanctuary cities in the state. According to a spokesperson, Abbott used the Facebook Live platform to reach a wider audience. His critics, however, decry the move as a “cowardly” way to enact an unpopular and controversial law, a law which is opposed by the majority of police chiefs in Texas.
SB 4 goes in to effect on September 1st. The legislation would penalize law enforcement officials, including campus police, who refuse to cooperate with federal authorities in detaining undocumented immigrants. Under the law, officials are authorized to inquire about an individual’s immigration status during any type of detention, even routine traffic stops. Refusal to comply could result in a $4,000 fine and/or up to a year in prison. Exorbitant civil penalties and removal from office could also apply.
Today, in response, the ACLU issued a travel advisory for Texans and for all people travelling through Texas. "Traveling to Texas may result in violation of constitutional rights." The goal is to protect all people from "illegal harassment by law enforcement". “We plan to fight this racist and wrongheaded law in the courts and in the streets. Until we defeat it, everyone traveling in or to Texas needs to be aware of what’s in store for them,” said Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas. “The Lone Star State will become a ‘show me your papers’ state, where every interaction with law enforcement can become a citizenship interrogation and potentially an illegal arrest.”
Click here to read Senate Bill No. 4 (SB4) in its entirety.
posted by Amy Levengood