WASHINGTON, D.C. This week, the Texas Legislature passed and sent to Governor Abbott’s desk a bill that gives Texas police the authority to arrest migrants and criminalizes illegal entry, re-entry, and refusing deportation. The bill is one of several recent anti-immigrant efforts led by Texas Republicans, including legislation that would provide over $1.5 billion in state funding for border barrier construction, and a lawsuit filed against the federal government to stop border agents from cutting the state’s razor wire that has injured migrants.
The bill awaiting the governor’s signature, SB4, has been criticized as xenophobic, racist, and anti-immigrant, as it closely mirrors Arizona’s “Show me your papers” law—much of which was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Said Nicole Melaku, executive director of the National Partnership for New Americans: “We know all too well the immediate and long-lasting ripple effects of this type of anti-immigrant policy making—of which immigrant, migrant, mixed status, and communities of color bear the brunt. This impacts all Texans, and sends a fear-mongering, xenophobic message to all of America. While we work with our members and partners across Texas to create welcoming infrastructure for our immigrant neighbors, these state legislators pass measures that build walls, stoke fear, criminalize immigration, and codify racial profiling. We urge Governor Abbott and all Texas legislators to reject this bill and commit to building a state where all people—regardless of race, nationality, or immigration status—can live a life of dignity and prosperity.”
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 partnershipfornewamericans.org