Dallas, TX – The passage of Senate Bill 4 in Texas has set a new precedent for the prohibition of sanctuary cities and will open the door to the systematic targeting, profiling, and harassment of all Texans by Trump-inspired law enforcement. Since its passage, organizations and advocacy groups from around the country have been ramping up efforts to challenge its constitutional standing and prepare local communities from around the state for increased enforcement and to defend themselves from violations of their rights. On Monday, seasoned activists from the fight against Arizona’s SB1070 joined Texas community leaders and organizations to launch the “Summer of Resistance” against SB4.
Identified as #BastaTexas & #OrganizeTX, the summer of resistance is a call for activists and allies from across the country to organize and mobilize local community members in defiance of unjust racial profiling and criminalization of immigrants, Latinos, and the African-American community. More information for the emergent campaign, and how to get involved, can be found at www.BastaTexas.org
“SB-4 will not only impact immigrants, it will affect Latino and Mexican-American Tejanos who have lived in the state for generations; African Americans who already face a disproportionate impact when encountering police will be further affected; indigenous people who are fighting for their lands and history” said Tania Mejia, Communications Director for JOLT.
“Additionally, SB4 criminalizes elected officials that express dissent, it makes it illegal to support or work to advance sanctuary policies in support of the rights of immigrants. Making it illegal for our elected officials to voice dissent, or to speak freely, is an impediment to our democracy and sets a precedent for an authoritarian regime” she concluded.
“We know that SB4 is politically motivated. It is hate legislation, unequivocally” said Salvador Sarmiento, National Campaign Coordinator for NDLON. In the era of Trump, SB4 is a dangerous step toward the extremist targeting of immigrants and all people who look or speak differently. It’s clear by now that Trump cannot punish immigrants to the extent he wishes, within the bounds of federal law. He is relying on States to do the dirty work for him” he concluded.
In 2010, activists were galvanized when confronted with SB1070 in Arizona, which sought to eliminate immigrants through attrition, racial profiling and deputizing local law enforcement to enact immigration law. Local groups mobilized against the bill and against then Sheriff Joe Arpaio who was known for his immigrant detention camp, hateful rhetoric towards immigrants, and disregard for civil rights. The campaign garnered national attention and was able to defeat the legislation, as well as force Sheriff Arpaio to lose re-election.
Karla Quiñones, Jolt Summer Organizer said “our fight against hate is from the ground up. We have learned from the lessons in the fight against SB-1070 that we cannot rely solely on the electorate, but we have to organize and mobilize within our communities. We call on those who see the injustices that our community is facing, the attacks we are receiving and ask that you join us in resisting this type of policy”