A Texas “travel advisory” has been issued for everyone entering the Lone Star State. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued their warning after Governor Greg Abbott signed an illegal immigration bill banning sanctuary cities into law.
The ACLU’s Texas travel advisory cautions travelers who enter or move about in the state that they should “anticipate possible violations of their constitutional rights.” The travel advisory was issued in both English and Spanish on social media.
The American Civil Liberties Union warning also claims Texas travelers will be “judged by the color or their skin.” Nothing in the SB4 sanctuary cities ban references any particular race or nationality being sheltered from immigration agents in defiance of federal law. The Texas statute instead bars special protection from being offered to anyone living in the United States illegally.
— ACLU National (@ACLU) May 10, 2017
ACLU Director of Immigration Policy Lorella Praeli claims the goal of the Texas travel advisory is to protect “all people” traveling through the Lone Star State from “illegal harassment” by the police.
“Texas is a state with deep Mexican roots and home to immigrants from all walks of life. Many of us fit the racial profile that the police in Texas will use to enforce Trump’s draconian deportation force,” Praeli also said, according to a report by MSN.
Governor Greg Abbott’s sanctuary cities bill permits law enforcement officers to simply ask a detained individual about their immigration status. The Texas governor said citizens of his state fully expect police officers to enforce the law and “deserve” to see those who break it face appropriate legal consequences, the Hill reports.
“Texans expect us to keep them safe, and that is exactly what we are going to do,” Greg Abbott said before signing the SB4 sanctuary cities ban into law.
Since the passage of SB4, we must issue a travel advisory to anyone planning to travel to Texas. What you need to know and what you can do. pic.twitter.com/pl8Zzaz5K8
— ACLU National (@ACLU) May 9, 2017
SB4 bans cities in Texas from declaring themselves sanctuary cities and refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement agents. The new law also directs police officers to aid in the enforcement of immigration laws as an extension of their regular duties when a situation warrants.
Texas ACLU Executive Director Terri Burke said the group is prepared to fight the sanctuary cities ban she deemed “racist and wrongheaded” in both the public venue and via the court system.
“Until we defeat it, everyone traveling in or to Texas needs to be aware of what’s in store for them. The Lone Star State will become a ‘show me your papers’ state, where every interaction with law enforcement can become a citizenship interrogation and potentially an illegal arrest,” Burke claimed in a prepared statement.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 9, 2017
The League of United Latin American Citizens has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a small Mexican border town called El Cenizo, the Washington Times reports. The legal filing may be the first of multiple lawsuits filed in opposition to the Texas Governor’s sanctuary cities ban.
El Cenizo has been a “safe haven” or sanctuary city since local officials passed an ordinance in 1999 that prevents any city staffer from asking about an individual’s immigration status.
Luis Vera, the attorney for the Latino rights group, vowed to fight Greg Abbott’s sanctuary city ban in federal court. The Texas governor has already petitioned the court to preemptively find SB4 as a constitutional law.
What do you think about the Texas travel advisory and the new sanctuary cities ban?
[Featured Image by Mikael Damkier/Shutterstock]