Latest Measure Makes it a Crime to Cross Border Without Authorization
(San Antonio, Texas)—Texas Governor Greg Abbott has added another hateful bill to his anti-immigrant and anti-Texas agenda, with the latest measure making it a crime to cross the border without authorization. The bill (SB 4/HB 4) gives “peace officers” authority to stop, arrest and detain anyone they believe is in Texas without authorization. The measure also gives magistrate judges the power to deport people.
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) has been working to defeat all of Abbott’s hateful legislation and will continue to educate communities inside Texas and in other states about the severe consequences of this measure that will be signed by Abbott. We will not let this template of hate be replicated in other states.
“This measure will no doubt put all Brown and Black Texans, regardless of status, in danger of being stopped by anyone who is considered a “peace officer,” said ILRC Policy Attorney & Strategist Priscilla Olivarez. “A dog catcher or a park ranger now has the authority to look at someone and if they think that person does not have status can stop and arrest them. This is sanctioned racial profiling and all Texans must stand up and demand this measure, that will no doubt cause massive family separations, be struck down. Thirty former immigration judges issued a statement recently saying this measure is unconstitutional.”
“Because the Biden Administration has been silent and not challenged Operation Lone Star’s legality, Abbott has been left unchecked and has pushed his agenda through the State Legislature,” Olivarez added. “What Abbott has done in Texas will no doubt be looked at by other hateful and xenophobic lawmakers—either in office or seeking office—to replicate. We need the Biden Administration to step in NOW. What are they waiting for?”
“We also urge municipal governments to sue and do everything in their power to not enforce this measure,” Olivarez said. “All our voices must be heard. We must all advocate to have laws and policies that work for all Texans. Where are the laws and policies that will make our public schools great, our roads and bridges safe, our electrical grid reliable and affordable?”
“Texans want and deserve a Texas that protects the rights of all individuals. We do not want to be governed by people guided by a hateful and racist agenda," Olivarez said.
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC works to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities.