WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 45 of the nation’s preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, applauds the decision by Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia to grant a partial preliminary injunction in the Texas SB4 case, preventing the bulk of the legislation from going into effect on September 1, 2017. The ruling recognizes the validity of the cities and organizations that filed the lawsuit that raised concerns about its constitutionality. Texas SB4 is a racial profiling law that would lead to rights violations, economic harm, and family separation and would have turned every local law enforcement official into part of Trump’s deportation machine.
This victory is uplifting, but it is just a step toward fully eliminating this unconstitutional piece of legislation. The Latino community, immigrant community, and Texas and national allies are ready to keep fighting the racism and bigotry that is manifested through laws such as Texas’ SB4. SB4 would have required local law enforcement to comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers, prohibited law enforcement agencies from issuing policies and guidance about immigration enforcement, prohibited elected officials from endorsing policies that contradict SB4 — such as sanctuary city policies — by penalizing them with fines and removal from office, and allowed untrained local police officers to decide to become appendages of ICE.
The preliminary injunction does leave in place provisions that allow police to ask about immigration only when they have a separate non-immigration-related reason to detain someone, and that allow police to share any information obtained with ICE. However, local police are not permitted to arrest, hold, or turn over someone based on information or suspicion about immigration status. That means that anyone questioned by local police about immigration does not have to answer the questions.