tags: Press Releases

Texas and National Voices Decry New State Anti-Immigrant Law and Impact on Texas Families and Settled Federal Immigration Law

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Washington, DC – Following this week’s passage of anti-immigrant bills by the Texas State Legislature, state and national voices have been decrying the dangerous implications on real Texas residents, as well as the state’s apparent intent to challenge established law and, in particular, the defined immigration powers of the federal government. 

According to David Leopold, America’s Voice legal advisor, past president, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and Immigration Group Leader at Ulmer & Berne:

“Texas is trampling on the Constitution and seems intent to rely on the anti-immigrant judicial pipeline it concocted to force legal clashes that will lead to a re-examination of long-settled immigration law. The state’s attack on the notion of federal supremacy on immigration law would open the door to a dangerous and chaotic era of state anti-immigrant policymaking that is driven by ugly politics, moves us farther from real solutions, and challenges the very notion of a united states. While Republicans envision 50 state policies on immigration, where roundups and deportations are executed by local sheriffs and directed by mayors and governors, our Constitution has a very different vision.”

According to Mario Carrillo, Texas-based Campaigns Manager at America’s Voice:

“It’s hard to believe given their relentless anti-immigrant focus in recent years, but this new law means Texas Republicans have actually escalated their cruelty and ugliness on the issue and the targeting of immigrant and Latino communities throughout our state. We need solutions on immigration that Texas Republicans in Congress are helping to block and obstruct, not anti-immigrant scapegoating and new laws that will target and profile Texas families like mine.”

On a virtual press briefing held yesterday, Representatives Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20), Greg Casar (D-TX-35) joined with Texas House Rep. and Chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus Victoria Neave Criado (D-HD170) and Roberto Lopez, Beyond Borders Senior Advocacy Manager at the Texas Civil Rights Project:

  • Representative Joaquin Castro (TX-20) said, “The anti-immigrant bills on Governor Abbott’s desk were written and passed by the xenophobic, extremist, right-wing people who are in control of the Texas Republican party now. These bills turn every law enforcement officer in the state of Texas into an immigration officer, giving wide latitude to question and challenge the citizenship of just about anyone and interfere with federal immigration enforcement. We’ve already seen how problematic that can get through Operation Lone Star, a program which has violated people’s legal, civil and human rights already.”
  • Representative Greg Casar (TX-35) said, “Greg Abbott has really gone off the deep end with his anti-immigrant hysteria. Instead of working on public schools, or health care, or the economy, Abbott puts all his energy — and billions of dollars — into these extreme and unconstitutional anti-immigrant laws. Abbott’s law would tell police to stop working on solving crimes, and instead ask police to hunt down Texans who look like immigrants. It’s unacceptable. I, along with some of my colleagues in Congress, will ask the Biden Administration to intervene and block these unconstitutional proposals.”
  • MALC Chairwoman Victoria Neave Criado (HD-107) said, “For the past year, the members of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and our allies have locked arms to defeat policies like SB 4 in the Texas Legislature. But Governor Abbott will go to the greatest lengths to force legislators into passing his unconstitutional and irresponsible agenda. From wasting millions of dollars each special session to asking for an additional $1.5 billion taxpayer dollars on top of the $10 billion he has already received—Gov. Abbott will now use our hard-earned dollars to execute mass arrests and detention of people across the state. Make no mistake—SB 4 does nothing to protect our border and everything to endanger the 1 in 4 mixed-status families in our state and American citizens. The State of Texas will have to defend this unconstitutional policy in court and we urge our federal government to stop SB 4 from becoming law.”
  • Roberto Lopez, Beyond Borders Senior Advocacy Manager at the Texas Civil Rights Project, said, “Senate Bill 4 will subject Texans across the state to racial profiling, fuel fear and discrimination, and further marginalize vulnerable populations. The Texas Legislature has tried year after year to co-opt immigration policy with its own outlandish schemes, not caring who they may harm, imprison, or forcibly remove in the process. The Texas Legislature knew this bill would not be supported by the community, which is why they worked to pass the legislation swiftly, quietly, and with little public input. People deserve to be welcomed with dignity and respect, not profiling and arrest.”