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Texas Advocates Respond To Injunction Ruling on Majority of Discriminatory SB4

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Austin, TX – Today, a federal district judge in San Antonio ruled to enjoin the majority of the anti-immigrant and discriminatory law, SB4, that targets communities of color across the state.

Judge Orlando Garcia’s ruling blocks significant portions of the law including mandating cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers in local jails, restricting the free speech of local officials, and punishing local police that choose not to inquire about an individual’s immigration status.

This ruling is also the latest in a string that found Texas laws to be discriminatory against people of color. 

Jose P. Garza, Worker’s Defense Project, said:

Today, Texas families won the first of many battles against Gov. Abbott and his racist agenda. Texas families are fighting for the Texas that we can be. We will continue to fight back in court, in the streets, and in our communities.

Bob Libal, Executive Director of Grassroots Leadership, said:

This injunction is a great victory for all Texans against a hateful bill put forward and signed by Greg Abbott. Despite the injunction, Texas remains ground-zero for attacks on immigrant families. SB4 always was and will prove to be about nothing more than encouraging police to racially profile people of color. We applaud our local officials for challenging this law and call on all our local officials to renew resistance to anti-immigrant hate. Our community has the power to enact policies that will protect community members in our city from unnecessary arrest, incarceration, and deportation. 

Cristina Tzintzun, Executive Director of Jolt, said:

While we celebrate today’s victory, we must remember that our work does not end here. The court’s decision will not stop Governor Greg Abbott from appealing this decision, it will not stop similar legislation from being enacted in the future, and it will not keep our community safe from other attacks. We are the only ones who can defend our community, demand accountability for these hateful policies, and remove those who seek to turn back the clock on civil rights from office. It’s time for us to come together as Texans to organize and mobilize to defend our freedoms, our democracy and our state. 

Efrén C. Olivares, Racial & Economic Justice Program Director with the Texas Civil Rights Project and attorney in the case, said:

We don’t have to look far to see the real-life effects of this anti-immigrant laws. Instead of focusing on their safety, hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their families in Houston’s rising flood waters worried about facing deportation. Thanks to the efforts of Houston officials and the police department, the fears were quickly addressed. But this should never happen in the first place. We will celebrate this community victory and continue to fight back against all attempts to target immigrant communities in Texas, and we are proud to represent the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund and MOVE San Antonio in our litigation to stop this discriminatory law. 

Julieta Garibay, Campaign Director and Co-founder of United We Dream, said:

As many of our neighbors and friends suffer because of Hurricane Harvey, today’s news is a bit of welcome relief that they won’t be facing another terror. The judge confirmed what we and the majority of Texans already knew: that SB4 is a racist law that targets communities of color to lock up, deport, and tear apart our families.  Today’s ruling brings us one step closer to our demands for a complete repeal of this racist law. But make no mistake, we will continue to fight for our people, because when immigrant communities are under attack, we rise up, we fight back, and we win.

Michelle Tremillo, Executive Director of the Texas Organizing Education Fund, said:

This decision today feels like a ray of sunshine, and Texans, especially undocumented Texans, deserve a reprieve in what has been a steady assault on their families.

We recognize this is just the first step in what we expect to be a protracted legal battle. Today, we will take a deep sigh of relief, and tomorrow we will keep fighting to stop SB4 in the courts and win proactive solutions that protect the freedom and dignity of undocumented families and all people of color.