By SVREP Vice President Lydia Camarillo @lcamarillo1
September 1st will be remembered across the United States as a day Texas failed the Latino community. Even though the Lone Star State has one of the largest Latino population in the country following only California, the Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB4) will promote and legalize the racial profiling of their own community, unless it is either blocked or repealed.
SB4 will bring fear, increase crime in Latino neighborhoods, and tear families apart. Texas will lose hundreds of dollars from tourism and taxes from Latinos who opt to leave the state.
SB4 is a racial profiling law. As the San Antonio Police Chief said, it best “the only way to know if we must turn someone in to ICE is by the color of their skin, there is no other way of knowing if a person is documented or living in America without papers”.
SB4 is an anti-Latino, anti-immigrant law that finally passed this year because the Texas Governor and Lt. Governor made it their top priority for the 85th legislative session.
Sold as a bill to stop the undocumented from taking refuge in sanctuary cities and counties across Texas, the Texas Legislature rammed the bill down our “throats” ultimately signed by the Governor despite opposition by the Latinos, Blacks and other ethnic communities and leadership.
Texas lawyers contend that the ICE agents must work in partnership with the City and County police and Sheriffs to detain and deport anyone who is undocumented. Texas will be joined by the Department of Justice for the United States (DOJ) attorneys who sided with Texas on enforcing and defending SB4.
But, you already know this.
The question is what can the Latino community do to stop SB4. We can learn from the courts’ responses to California’s Proposition 187 and Arizona’s Proposition 1070.
The Latino community needs to fight SB4 in court, in the streets with the marches and manifestations, rallies, sit-ins, and outside of the state by getting Texas to be a state is boycotted and, most importantly, a ballot on Election Day. Latinos need to fight back in the media and on the streets.
In the cases of Prop 187 and Prop 1070, the courts found that propositions to be unconstitutional and in violation of the civil rights of the Latino community. We are certain the Federal Court of San Antonio will once against again rule that Texas passed a law with the intent to discriminate and violate the US Constitution.
Latinos organized massive marches and protests in Arizona.
Businesses, including national sports groups, boycotted Arizona until it repealed Prop 1070. The revenue loss helped Arizona leadership win the battle against Prop 1070.
Arizona Latinos self-organized, self-registered to vote and overthrow the State Senator who authored Prop 1070. Latino voter registration tripled in four years giving Arizona the status as the state with the second largest share of the Latino voter turnout at 25%, following New Mexico with its 36% share of the vote. Latino voter registration in Arizona tripled over the next four years from that moment, giving Arizona the second largest Latino voter turnout at 25%, behind only New Mexico at 36%.
Many California Latinos, with the help of “the right timing”, became United States Citizens because of the IRCA (the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986). The IRCA allowed many undocumented immigrants to become permanent residents, to naturalize and become US citizens and register to vote. California enjoys the largest number of Latino voter registration – with a whopping 4.2 million.
SVREP’s efforts to stop SB4 include organizing Texas Latino Congreso in September in Dallas and continuing its efforts to mobilize the Latino vote. The William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI) polled the Latino leadership to determine their position on Texas boycott. A majority of the Latino leadership support the boycott, by 83%.
Join us! Together we can stop SB4, as well as other, racial profiling, anti-immigrant, anti-Latino efforts.