MFV Thanks AILA for Cancelling TX Convention Because of SB 4
At the same time, U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) sent a letter to the organizers of South by Southwest (SXSW) urging them to consider relocating their annual conference and festival out of Texas until SB 4, recently signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, is repealed or overturned by the courts. In an initial response, SXSW stated it would would continue “fighting for the rights of all” but would remain in Austin.
“The courageous announcement by AILA and the leadership of Sens. Menendez and Cortez Masto show how the wrong-headed decisions of the governor and GOP-led state Legislature are bad for Texas,” said Ben Monterroso, executive director of MFV. “Clearly, the so-called ‘Texas Miracle,’ is becoming a ‘Texas Debacle.”
MFV Texas State Director Carlos Duarte added, “We continue to urge SXSW to reconsider their decision to remain in Austin, but we understand the difficulty in moving major events. We hope at the very least SXSW will continue to state its opposition to SB 4 and advise artists and participants that Texas is an unwelcoming state.”
Public opposition to SB 4 by concerned Texans increased today after the City of Dallas announced they would be joining a lawsuit against the anti-immigrant law. Dallas is the latest city to continue these opposition efforts, joining San Antonio and Austin in taking a stand.
In their statement, AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson noted the group’s 70-year mission to promote justice and advocate for fair and reasonable immigration policy. “That’s not something to which we simply pay lip service, it’s what we and our 15,000 members do, day in and day out. SB 4 is unjust, unfair, and unreasonable and under these extraordinary circumstances, AILA has made the decision that it cannot bring its premier event to the state of Texas.”
The senators stated in their letter that SB 4 “would not allow SXSW to be a safe place for immigrants and Americans alike to visit, participate, and enjoy; the culture and safety of the event would be greatly diminished if your attendants are faced with the humiliation and harassment that this new law would inflict. Not only does this law stand against what SXSW stands for but also what we fundamentally stand for as a nation that believes in basic dignity and respect for all.”
In response, SXSW Co-founder Roland Swenson said he agreed with the senators “that the law stands diametrically opposed of SXSW and respect their call to action,” but cancelling the summer event is not a solution.
Posted courtesy of Latino Lubbock Magazine. All rights reserved.