This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending May 12

Week Ending May 12

Texas’ S.B. 4 is a License to Discriminate: This past Sunday in the shadow of night, Governor Greg Abbott of Texas signed into law SB4 which would go into effect in September. The legislation, opposed by a host of police chiefs from all over Texas, calls on law enforcement to inquire about immigration status in traffic stops and other interactions, allows police officers to question children about immigration status, and mandates fines and jail time for elected officials and law enforcement who fail to comply with the discriminatory law, even though it may make them complicit in violating constitutional safeguards. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it has the spirit of previous racial profiling bills passed in Alabama, Arizona and other states where taxpayers bore the burden of litigation. NCLR joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the  Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), Mi Familia Vota, the Human Rights Campaign, and the National Urban League (NUL) in a press conference denouncing the legislation. Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR, said, “Gov. Abbott’s action is reckless and irresponsible. S.B.4 represents a false promise to those looking for real solutions on immigration. Rather than solving anything, this deeply troubling and unconstitutional legislation will jeopardize the civil rights of millions of Texans, nearly half of whom are Hispanic, and undermine public safety in communities across the state. As an organization that works to protect and defend America’s Latino community and uphold the core values of this nation, NCLR condemns this new law and others like it, and the bigotry and intolerance they represent.”

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American Voters Want Comprehensive Immigration Reform

All in for CitizenshipDespite a general consensus at Monday’s fifth Senate Judiciary Committee immigration hearing this year, a voice of opposition came from minority-side witness Kris Kobach, the current Secretary of State of Kansas.  Aside from Kobach, a diverse set of witnesses expressed their support for the recently introduced bipartisan immigration bill and urged the Senate to move forward with reform.

Kobach, however, stands out among his fellow panelists.  He is best known for being the brains behind the slew of devastating anti-immigrant laws adopted in several states over the past few years, including Arizona’s SB 1070 in 2010 and similar laws in Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri.  More recently, he served as immigration policy advisor to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and is largely credited for the “self-deportation” policy embraced by the Romney campaign.

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