LULAC DENOUNCES TEXAS GOVERNOR ABBOTT'S VICIOUS USE OF FEAR-MONGERING AND SCAPEGOATING OF REFUGEES IN ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION BILL
Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization to File Federal Lawsuit in Challenge to State's Unconstitutional Laws and Demands Urgent Intervention by the U.S. Department of Justice
November 15, 2023
Contact David Cruz - (818) 689-9991
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) condemns Texas legislators' malicious and illegal actions, which constitute an outright assault on immigrant rights and our Constitution. The approval of a bill authorizing the arrest of individuals crossing the border without documentation, coupled with the Texas House's wasteful allocation of $1.5 billion for border walls, represents an alarming shift towards draconian measures that defy the very essence of our democratic values.
"LULAC opposes this out-of-control Governor and Republicans in the legislature on a hateful rampage toward asylum seekers and refugees," declares Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. "Their actions violate federal sovereignty over immigration laws. We are urging the U.S. Department of Justice to intervene and seek a court injunction to stop the implementation of these harsh and illegal measures. LULAC will again sue in federal court to stop these illegal, unconstitutional laws from taking effect," adds Garcia.
The green-lighting of Senate Bill 4 (S.B. 4) is a dark stain on the moral fabric of Texas. This legislation not only criminalizes the act of crossing the border without proper documentation but empowers Texas peace officers to arrest undocumented immigrants, blatantly sidestepping established federal immigration protocols. S.B. 4 also introduces the chilling prospect of felony charges, carrying potential sentences of two to 20 years, should the migrant be accused of additional crimes or resist complying with a judge's order to return to Mexico. Also, these laws will add a tremendous economic strain on local taxpayers who will have to foot the bill for housing immigrants in jail whose only crime was seeking a better life.
Lydia Guzman, LULAC National Immigration Chair, expresses deep concern: "The actions in Texas are disconcerting. However, these draconian measures only intensify LULAC's call for Congress to engage in bilateral efforts for comprehensive immigration reform. Our immigration system is broken and must be revamped," Guzman asserts, underscoring the gravity of the situation.
Despite the Democratic efforts to temper the harshness of the bill with crucial amendments, including exclusions for immigrant children and victims of trafficking and sexual assault, the callous indifference of Republican lawmakers prevailed. None of the amendments found favor in the eyes of those determined to trample on the rights of vulnerable populations. This legislative onslaught defies legal precedent and represents a deliberate affront to the rule of law. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Arizona v. United States underscored the federal government's exclusive control over immigration enforcement. The current Texas bill not only disregards this fundamental principle but also marks an alarming escalation of Operation Lone Star—a $10-billion border scheme—where criminal trespassing charges are weaponized against migrants.
"LULAC sees the abuse of power by state politicians as being driven by deep fear and resentment," Garcia affirms passionately. "The flood of new racist laws in Texas, Florida, and elsewhere are desperate attempts to try and stop the change that's coming. Latinos are growing in numbers, voting strength, and determination to be included in the American dream. Nothing will deter us, and no one will block our fight for justice. LULAC will be registering and turning out voters next year with a voto de castigo, a punishment vote at the polls against those who play the race card in Texas politics," he adds.
LULAC is rallying the community to stand firmly against oppression and implores the nation to unite against this egregious violation of fundamental human rights, reaffirming our collective commitment to justice, equality, and the American values that bind us all.