On May 7th, 2017 Governor Greg Abbot of Texas signed Senate Bill 4 into law. The bill, signed into law live on Facebook, bans "Sanctuary Cities" in Texas beginning September 1st, 2017. Originally authored and submitted by Texas Republican Senator Charles Perry, of Lubbock, Texas, it requires local law enforcement agencies to cooperate with federal authorities in the identification and detaining of illegal immigrants, under penalty of fines and criminal charges. The new law will also allow for the removal from office of any elected or appointed official not in compliance.

SB 4

The bill, while lauded by Senate republicans as a bill meant to help protect the public from another invisible enemy, can be seen as a new and legal form of racial discrimination. Under one of the final amendments to the bill, law enforcement will now be "allowed" to question the immigration status of anyone being detained, as opposed to an earlier version which required a lawful arrest. The illegal immigrants that they intend to search for, of course, are Mexican. The population of Texas, as estimated by the US Census Bureau in 2016, is roughly 28 million. The Hispanic population of Texas represents 38 percent of all people in the state, at roughly 10 million people. This means that 10 million people in the State of Texas are eligible to be stopped at any time, detained, and questioned about their legal status.

Federal Immigration

The new Texas law is more in line with President Trump's recent early executive order regarding immigration, giving more power to immigration officers, and the ability to forego due process, for the sake of deporting an individual. Under previous administrative policy, long-time illegal immigrants were granted leniency, most of them having been brought to the country as children, and pursuing regular employment or education.

The order is currently being blocked on legal grounds.

The bottom line?

This new law, in conjunction with the Trump administration's executive order on immigration, is the perfect storm of racism and fear mongering. Legislators claim the law is to protect law abiding citizens from hardened criminals, yet the victims of such policies tend to be average law abiding residents of this country, who only wish to make a better life for themselves and their families.

On top of that, the racism caused by this law is astounding, with the legal status of anyone of color suddenly questionable. It is a direct insult to every Hispanic person, regardless of origin or citizenship status. I used to be proud to call myself Texan. I, for one, will never step foot in the state of Texas again, until this awful law is repealed.