Austin, Texas. – Earlier this week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s fourth special session of the 88th Texas Legislature came to an end, seeing the passage of anti-immigrant bills SB4 and SB3. SB4 turns Texas officers into immigration enforcement agents, allowing them to detain and deport people to Mexico. SB3 allocates $1.5 billion to fund a border wall and Greg Abbott’s racist and murderous Operation Lone Star.
Gov. Abbott has already signed a different, anti-immigrant SB4 bill that passed the legislature during the third special session. That SB4 mandates a 10-year minimum sentence for anyone who provides transportation to an undocumented immigrant. It goes into effect February 6, 2024.
Throughout these four special sessions, Governor Abbott has attempted to force through extreme, anti-immigrant legislation all while he continues to ignore the actual issues that Texas are facing.
Juan Jose Martinez-Guevera, Texas Advocacy Manager of United We Dream, said:
“Governor Abbott has shown himself time and again to only legislate with the intent to hurt and disempower Texan communities. Both SB4 bills criminalize immigrants’ ability to live their normal, everyday lives in Texas. Transportation is a right, especially in a car-dependent state like ours where the land is vast and freeways become lifelines. People should not live under the constant threat of deportation as they go to see their loved ones, to work or school, the doctor, and so much more. To top it off, SB3 wastes billions of dollars on failed, racist policies while Texan communities struggle. We need elected officials in Texas to take a stand against Governor Abbott’s hateful lawmaking, fight against the implementation of SB3 and both SB4 bills and guarantee immigrants with safe access to transportation in their communities.”
David Chicanchan, Workers Defense Policy Director of Workers Defense Action Fund, said:
“Despite our best efforts, the SB4 and SB3 bills are headed to Governor Abbott’s desk where he will sign them into law despite the fact that they’re rooted in profound racism and are unconstitutional. SB4 proposes unleashing mass prosecution and incarceration across our state at any cost. It’s not just a financial cost but it is a violation of international and domestic law, and in violation of the norms of decency with which any human being should be treated. Make no mistake, Workers Defense will continue on the front lines fighting anti-immigrant, hateful legislation that aims to divide Texans rather than unite us.”
Damaris Gonzalez, Statewide Immigration Lead Organizer of Texas Organizing Project, said:
“Time and time again, Gov. Greg Abbott fails everyday working Texans by trying to appease anti-immigrant far-right extremists. SB3 is an inhumane waste, while both SB4s passed in Abbott’s special sessions are not just unconstitutional and authoritarian, they are rooted in white supremacy ― which has become all too much the norm in GOP “policy-making.” All people who call Texas home — regardless of age, race, or documentation status — deserve a governor who sees the full humanity and beauty of our state’s immigrant communities, not a demagogue who looks to divide and fearmonger. Working alongside statewide progressive partners, TOP is committed to fighting the implementation of these laws, while continuing to push for the protections and expansion of opportunity that Texas immigrant families need.”