Texas Lawmaker Seeks to Repeal Senate Bill 4

DivorceEarlier this month, Fort Worth State Representative Ramon Romero filed a proposal that would repeal Texas Senate Bill 4. SB4, set to become effective on September 1, 2017, cracks down on so-called “sanctuary” cities, municipalities that opt not to give priority to the deportation of undocumented immigrants. The new law will prohibit any municipal policy that involves or promotes less than full cooperation with federal immigration agents. It also establishes fines or jail terms for elected officials who fail to enforce its provisions. The statute gives police the authority to interrogate any detainee about his or her immigration status.

Romero told reporters that he fears the law will lead to boycotts of the state of Texas similar to those in Arizona. That state passed a similar bill last year and became the subject of travel boycotts by many out-of-state organizations. Romero says that at least one group that annually comes to Texas for its convention—the American Immigration Lawyers Association—has already indicated that it will go elsewhere this year.

Advocates for minorities, particularly Hispanics, say the new law unconstitutionally allows racial profiling. They also say that it serves as a disincentive for anyone with a questionable immigration status to report crimes, making them targets of violent crimes. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, a group of teenagers detained there told police that they targeted Hispanics because “they’ve got money and they don’t call the police.”

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