Bipartisan Latino Lawmakers Slam Texas’ Pending SB4 Immigration Law

DALLAS, Texas — It may be remarkable to hear Republicans and Democrats agree on anything in the politically charged environment of 2017. But in an unusual show of solidarity across state and partisan lines, a group of politicians both in and outside of Texas took to the phone on Wednesday to blast the state’s pending Senate Bill 4 legislation.

SB 4 is often described in political shorthand as a “show me your papers law.” Gov. Greg Abbott has said the law will protect public safety by banning sanctuary cities, which regulate how police conduct immigration checks. SB4 will prohibit local authorities from “materially limiting” the ability of a law enforcement or court officer from checking a person’s immigration status and reporting it to federal authorities.

Among the politicians speaking out against the bill were State Rep. Mary Gonzalez (D – TX), Senator Martin Quezada (D – AZ), and Senator Rene Garcia (R – FL). The talk was moderated by Delia Garcia, National Business Advisory Council Chair of the Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs, which is active in 25 states.

SB 4 goes into effect next week on September 1, hence the urgency of the lawmakers’ collective tone in the call, which is one in a series of events being held on the matter by the BHCC.

SB 4 is a bill with potentially national consequences, a point that was driven home most forcefully by Arizona Senator Quezada, who emphasized a cautionary tale regarding his state’s controversial immigration bill, SB 1070. Quezada’s district (29) has the highest number of Latinos in the state of Arizona.

Quezada described SB 1070 co-author, Kris Kobach, as one of the “most notorious anti-immigrant radicals in our nation.” Kobach is now Vice Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commision on Election Integrity, and was personally selected by President Trump to head the new initiative.

Passed in 2010, Arizona SB 1070’s particular take on “show me your papers” legislation resulted in costly litigation for the State of Arizona, at least one political career, and an effective “neutering” of the bill’s key provision.

By Christopher Mosley for NBC NEWS
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