Students, Law Officials Join to Testify Against Anti-Immigration Bills in TX
This week, over two dozen Hispanic Texas students arrived at the state capital to testify against a number of new anti-immigration bills that mirror Arizona’s.
The students met at the Mexican American Legislative Caucus’ offices to prepare their statements against legislation like House Bill 12, which would outlaw “sanctuary cities,” and would no longer allow local authorities to prevent their employees from asking immigration-related questions of a person who had been detained or arrested in accordance with the law.
State Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, who filed the bill, said HB 12 would apply to any “municipality, county, special district, or authority, as well as any officer, employee, or other body that is part of a city, county, special district or authority.” If find to have violated the bill, the local law enforcement agency would have money taken away by the state.
“It is a shame that we have to copy cat what Arizona is doing. Texas is not Arizona,” said Julio Diaz, a graduate in public administration at the University of Texas at El Paso who traveled to Austin to testify. “We do not want these anti-immigrant bills. We do not want the Legislature to outlaw so-called sanctuary cities. My city, El Paso, is the safest city in the nation. We do not need local law enforcement enforcing federal immigration laws.”
Along with students and young people like Diaz, a number of border sheriffs and police chiefs came out against HB 12 as well.
“Sheriff Wiles, Congressman Silvestre Reyes, County Judge Veronica Escobar, and state Sen. Jose Rodriguez have all been very strong in saying we do not want this legislation. We are not supposed to be addressing federal issues. It is just rhetoric,” said Diaz.
He and more than two dozen others in Austin are testifying against House Bills 12, 18, 183, 263, and others that could cause unnecessary discourse between any and all ethnicities.