In an event that has sparked a wave of concern and activism, more than 50 civil organizations in Texas have announced their joint declaration of “alert and resistance” against anti-immigrant laws, particularly Senate Bill 4 (SB4). Passed in mid-November by the Texas Legislature, this legislation grants state authorities the power to detain and deport migrants without due process, eliciting strong reactions from society and activists.
Senate Bill 4: A Summary
Senate Bill 4, championed by Republican Governor Greg Abbott, makes it a misdemeanor for a foreigner to enter Texas irregularly from another country. Repeat offenses become a felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Additionally, the law allows state justice to order the expulsion of foreigners without a judicial process and gives police officers the authority to arrest and expel individuals suspected of entering the country illegally.
Organizations’ Reaction: State of Alert and Resistance
Fernando García, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR), led a virtual press conference calling for resistance and mobilization against SB4. Organizations are concerned about the profound impact this law will have on the Latino and immigrant communities, considering it an unjust criminalization.
In response to the law’s approval, mobilizations have been called across the state of Texas in the coming months. The culmination of these actions is scheduled for March 9, 2024, in Austin, the capital of Texas, where a large demonstration is expected in rejection of SB4.
Call to Public Resistance
The organizations urged the Texas population to educate themselves about the details of the law and express their rejection. Emphasis was placed on reporting any abuses resulting from the implementation of this legislation, part of a package of anti-immigrant projects approved in the last year.
Concerns about Stigmatization and Background of Anti-Immigrant Measures
Lupita Sánchez, director of Border Workers United (BWU), expressed concern that anti-immigrant measures in Texas could spread to other parts of the country. It was emphasized that SB4 is part of Abbott’s efforts to enhance security on the border with Mexico through Operation Lone Star.
Call for Unity and Resistance Plan
Tania Chávez, director of the Union of the People United (LUPE), called for unity against what she considers racist and xenophobic laws. Voters were urged to oppose candidates supporting these measures in the 2024 elections. For those who cannot vote, educating themselves about their rights and sharing the message with the community was suggested.
Legal Actions and Future Implications
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) have announced their intention to take SB4 to court, claiming that the law violates the United States Constitution and interferes with federal power over immigration. Additionally, it is noted that in February 2024, another law will take effect in Texas requiring a minimum sentence of 10 years for those providing transportation to an undocumented immigrant.
Resistance against Senate Bill 4 in Texas represents a call to action and unity against measures that activists argue threaten immigrant communities. The planned mobilization and demonstration in March 2024 reflect the determination of these organizations in their fight for justice and human rights. The story continues, and the outcome of this legal and social conflict will have significant repercussions for the future of the state of Texas and beyond.
Our source for this text: ViveUsa
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