Activists push for a repeal of 'anti-sanctuary cities' law
AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Senate Bill 4 has been the law of the land for close to two years now.
"This is simply a mechanism such that when someone who has a criminal record, who is wanted by ICE, they're going be held and detained and turned over to ICE. If you are here, regardless of what your status and you have not committed a crime that makes you subject to an ICE detainer, you have no problems whatsoever," said Abbott back in 2017.
However, some still feel that the law targets immigrant communities. The fight to repeal it is still ongoing.
“I filed SB 672, the whole purpose is to repeal what I believe is an unjust, an un-American law that's really a discriminatory law, because there is no way to really decide who you're going to ask whether you're here legally or not other than based on their looks,” said State Sen. Jose Menendez, (D)-San Antonio.
Menendez attended a rally to repeal SB 4 on Monday. He says he sees and hears the effects of the law all the time.
“There's a guy in San Antonio who was walking to H-E-B, who was born in the U.S., raised in Mexico. So he gets to H-E-B and the border patrol guy asked him for his papers, doesn't have papers, they deport him. He's a U.S. citizen deported,” said Menendez.
United We Dream, Fuerza Texas and Grassroots Leadership are just a few of the groups that were present at the Capitol calling on lawmakers to repeal the law. Menendez says the law actually makes communities less safe because many people will no longer call police.
“If you have a household with multiple members of the family, all of them legal, but maybe one is in the process of getting their documents or they've overstayed their visa by a little bit, you probably won't call because you're afraid that something might happen to one of your loved ones,” said Menendez.
“How many students at UT overstay their visas? So what are you going to do? You're going to deport them too?” said Menendez.
Menendez has some supporters such as representative Rafael Anchia, who also filed a repeal bill. Even though Menendez thinks the fight will be tough, he says he will try anyway.
“They probably won’t let me get a hearing, they probably won't entertain it. But they need to know. Because the moment something changes in this building, the moment that we do, we are ready to go and that's why it's there,” said Menendez.