Immigration Law

Texas Governor, Avoiding Protesters, Signs 'Sanctuary Cities' Ban on Facebook Live

Kolten Parker, Texas Observer, May 7, 2017 - "Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday night signed Senate Bill 4, the controversial “sanctuary cities” ban that allows local police officers to be deputized to enforce federal immigration law.  Abbott decided against a press conference or notifying the media and signed the bill into law around 7 p.m. after a five-minute, vertically filmed speech on Facebook Live. ... The decision to suddenly stream the ceremony was a topic of discussion by Lege commentators on Twitter. It was categorized as a “publicity stunt” likely meant to avoid protests and keep the spotlight on Abbott. ... Abbott spokesperson Matt Hirsch said they did it for the page views.  Democrats have promised a legal challenge to the law, which goes into effect September 1. It will allow police to ask people who have been detained — not just arrested — to prove citizenship. And law enforcement officials who enact policies that prohibit assisting federal immigration agents could be jailed. Critics have labeled the law “show me your papers” legislation and compared it to Arizona’s infamous SB 1070, which was partially struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012."

[Link to text of SB 4 here.]

[MALDEF statement: "Many things in Texas are big, such as the colossal blunder of SB 4. With a stroke of his pen, Governor Abbott has undermined democracy and voters' right to choose their elected officials, alienated nearly half the state population now subject to widespread racial profiling, severely undermined public safety by triggering widespread non-cooperation with police investigations of real crime, subjected Texas businesses tied to trade or tourism to incalculable losses, and exposed the state's taxpayers to substantial costs related to multiple statewide and local challenges to this inhumane law. Given the size of the state, this may well be the most costly gubernatorial signature in all of United States history. Many things in Texas are also small, such as the hearts and minds of the elected leaders who cravenly championed this wholly execrable legislation. MALDEF will do its level best, in court and out, to restore Texas, the state where MALDEF was founded, to its greater glory, and to help Texas to overcome 'Abbott’s Folly'." - Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund).]