31 May 2017

Lots Of People Will Support Texas Immigration Crackdown

Democrats and Liberals
The usual small number of activists and politicians gathered in front of the Capitol last 16 May to announce plans to challenge a Republican-backed immigration crackdown that opponents describe as unconstitutional.

Democratic elected officials from across the state, surrounded by only a few dozens of chanting supporters, said they'd spend the summer rallying opponents of Senate Bill 4 to fight the new law in the courts, and to oppose Republican lawmakers who passed it.

"They want elected officials like the ones standing behind me to back down," Austin City Councilman Greg Casar said. "We’re going to give them a summer of resistance."

Once SB4 takes effect in September, local officials like Casar could find themselves facing criminal charges, which they deserved in the first place. Under the law banning sanctuary cities, any jurisdiction that declines to hold an undocumented immigrant in custody on behalf of federal immigration authorities would face fines and the loss of state grant money. Officials who enact such policies face the possibility of prosecution and up to a year in jail. SB4, drawing comparisons with Arizona’s 2010 immigration crackdown bill, allows police to question the immigration status of anyone they stop.

The anti-sanctuary bill signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott this month is facing small legal battles that supporters said they’re confident the bill be passed and implemented soon. It will be adopted when its opponents least expect it.

Critics say there’s no way the law will stand up in court. However, Federal judges have already granted several requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold undocumented immigrants on their behalf unknown to many media and liberal news organizations.