Multiple organizations in Texas expressed strong criticism against Republican Governor Greg Abbott on Monday after he signed a package of three anti-immigrant laws on the border of Brownsville with Mexico. The most controversial of these laws, SB4, allows local police departments to arrest migrants who entered the state illegally and gives them the jurisdiction to order them to leave the United States.
This move has sparked resistance from various organizations, activists, and civil rights defenders. An initial protest near the border, led by over 40 people and supported by more than 50 community organizations, marks the beginning of a campaign against Abbott’s decisions.
Tania A. Chávez Camacho, Director of LUPE, spoke out at the protest, accusing Abbott and his allies of turning Texas into a safe haven for a small group of xenophobic and anti-immigrant individuals, making the state hostile for the majority of Texans. She also announced that they will continue organizing and protesting both on the streets and in the courts against these policies.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas also announced their intention to file a lawsuit against SB4, considering it one of the most radical and anti-immigrant projects in the country, causing harm to the most vulnerable. Sarah Cruz, a strategist for border and immigrant rights at the ACLU of Texas, expressed concerns about the law leading to more rights violations, including interference with the asylum process.
The call for vigilance and resistance to these measures was echoed by Fernando García, Executive Director of the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR), who issued a statement after Abbott’s decision. He warned that dozens of organizations in Texas are committed to resisting the anti-immigrant agenda led by the governor.
The President of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Domingo García, accused Abbott and the Texas Legislature of misusing their power.
In response to the grievances, these organizations are preparing to file a lawsuit against Abbott and vote against him, with plans to carry out more demonstrations in the coming months to protest the measures he has implemented. The issue of immigration policy and its impact on communities in Texas is expected to remain a contentious and pressing topic for the state.