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WASHINGTON, D.C. — A national coalition of nearly 70 immigrant rights organizations is outraged that Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed HB4/SB4 into law this week. The new law, which closely mirrors Arizona’s “show me your papers” law, criminalizes asylum and deputizes state police to arrest people they suspect are undocumented. The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) warned of the immediate and long-lasting impacts of this unconstitutional legislation, and Executive Director Nicole Melaku publicly condemned the new discriminatory, anti-immigrant law in this week’s immigration edition of Radio Bilingüe’s Línea Abierta. 

Said Nicole Melaku, NPNA Executive Director, “By the simple stroke of his pen, Texas Governor Abbott has codified racial profiling and made our communities less safe. Just like Arizona’s failed policies, SB4 tasks state law enforcement with guessing peoples’ immigration status solely by appearance, which will not only lead to the targeting of immigrants, but also native-born U.S. citizens. We condemn the actions of Governor Abbott and all Texas legislators who supported and enacted this measure. Texas has taken a step backwards on the long arc toward justice.

“This law is harmful to all Texans and to those seeking safety in the United States. It sends a chilling message that will keep people from engaging in their normal, everyday activities that support families’ well-being and local communities’ vitality. It denies migrants their legal right to seek asylum and find safety. We have worked hard with our members and partners across Texas to create welcoming infrastructure for our immigrant neighbors, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to continue this work.” 

Said Angie Dupree, NPNA Citizenship Coordinator in Houston, Texas: “SB4 is unconstitutional, inhumane, and xenophobic. As a lifelong Texan, I condemn this law not only for infringing on the humanity of immigrants, but for infringing on the freedom and safety of everyone. The vagueness of this law makes it such that almost anyone is put at risk of being targeted. Whether you are a charitable organization providing transportation to a client, a person giving a relative a ride, or an unsuspecting Uber driver, you can face criminal penalties for ‘trafficking.’ The chilling effect of the law also discourages religious organizations from engaging in their long standing traditions of serving their immigrant neighbors.

“The governor is exacerbating the workload of already overburdened law enforcement by assigning them yet another responsibility, while eroding the trust many police officers have worked hard to build with the community. This is not who we want to be as a state or a nation. Immigrants have always been here and will remain. We must not break up families or communities that include immigrants simply for the sake of hateful, fear-mongering politics.”


The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) is a multi-ethnic, multiracial coalition of 66 of the nation’s largest immigrant and refugee rights organizations with reach across over 40 states. Together with our members, we advance immigrant and refugee equity and inclusion, build and expand immigration legal services and integration programming capacity, and drive campaigns that strengthen democracy through increased civic participation. See our website for more information at