On Sunday, May 7, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 4 (SB4), better known as the “show me your papers law,” and that is similar has been ruled unconstitutional in Arizona because it permits racial profiling in law enforcement.
The language encourages discrimination and allows law enforcement to question a person’s immigration status simply upon detainment, not while under arrest. Supporters claim this bill only targets criminals, but opponents insist the bill will target children, victims of crimes and even veterans. Opponents also say the law incites fear and distrust in minority communities, specifically communities of color.
If SB4 goes into effect in September, Stonewall Democrats wrote in a press release, it will have a profound impact on the safety of all Texans by driving undocumented immigrants back into the shadows in fear of law enforcement retaliation. Immigrants will fear any interaction with law enforcement, whether they are victims or witnesses to crime. This will increase the amount of unreported crime and criminals will prey on these communities. “This unconstitutional, discriminatory terrorism sanctioned by our state government attempts to assist in Trump’s plan for mass deportations which will lead to a massive economic impact to Texas and a blow to the workforce we all depend on to maintain our states growth,” Stonewall Democrats said.
Stonewall President Lee Daugherty noted, “The safety and security of the LGBTQ community is paramount in the ongoing struggle for equal rights and protections under the law. The continued struggle for racial, economic, social, and environmental justice for all encompasses many issues that are inter-sectional and will not be ignored in our fight for equality. A conversation rarely had among advocacy groups is our own immigrant and undocumented LGBTQ community. It’s a community that lives among us, they are our friends, our partners, and our neighbors. The community already feels the hateful oppressive speech from Republicans in Austin and DC and continues to fight forward, even as we see elected officials making it a priority to strip away rights and push to legalize discrimination. Regardless of what Austin deems as important, we will fight back against SB4 and any other law that threatens the safety of our diverse community. Immigrants help make this country great, and at no time will we allow Governor Abbott or his radical colleagues place out ‘republicaning’ each other to secure future primaries become more important than the safety of our community. We will hold them accountable when they attempt to terrorize any part of our community.”