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Immigration Law

Lawyers Convention Leaves Texas Over State's New Immigration Law (SB 4)

Julian Aguilar, Texas Tribune, June 7, 2017 - "A 15,000-member association of attorneys and law professors said on Wednesday that it is relocating its 2018 convention out of Texas in response to the state legislature passing Senate Bill 4, a sweeping and controversial immigration enforcement measure.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association was scheduled to hold its 3-day event in Grapevine next year, but said the bill’s “dangerous, destructive and counterproductive proposals” go against the group’s mission. About 3,000 people were expected to attend the convention.

“One of the issues that drove the board’s decision was concern on behalf of quite a number of our members that they might not be willing to bring themselves or their families to Texas,” AILA president Bill Stock told reporters during a conference call. “Our members are U.S. citizens and green card holders, but many of them come from ethnic communities where they felt that they [would] being unfairly targeted.”

SB 4 allows law enforcement to question the immigration status of people they legally detain or arrest and punishes department heads and elected officials who don’t cooperate with federal immigration agents by turning over immigrants subject to possible deportation. Gov. Greg Abbott signed the legislation last month, and it is scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 1."