Border crisis: Protesters gather downtown to speak out against SB 4, Operation Lonestar

People from all over the state gathered in downtown Austin on Saturday morning with a message to Gov. Greg Abbott: to put an end to SB 4 and Operation Lonestar.

From Austin City Hall to the south steps of the State Capitol, rally goers marched their way through downtown, chanting that the fight will go on.

During the rally, artists created large-scale protest art, including 15-foot puppets.

The purpose of displaying that artwork is to show state legislators how immigrants in Texas live.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 4 in December. The bill will allow law enforcement to arrest people who they suspect are entering the country illegally.

"It is unsafe, unfortunately, now for people of color, hispanos, hispanas, to be in border communities," said El Paso county commissioner David Stout.

"SB 4 is a bill that discriminates against people with brown skin, and it's not just going to be enforced on the border, it's going to be enforced across the entire state," said activist Jesse Fuentes.

The law was supposed to go into effect on March 5. However, the U.S. Supreme Court intervened and temporarily blocked the law.

"I anticipate the Supreme Court will back this up. And I say that because, when you're going to grant a temporary injunction, temporary restraining or temporary injunction, there are several requisites under the law that have to be met," said State Rep. David Spiller.


In response to the injunction, Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement that says in part, ""Texas will immediately appeal this decision, and we will not back down in our fight to protect our state—and our nation—from president Biden's border crisis."

The Supreme Court issued a temporary stay until March 13 while the court considers whether it will allow the state to enforce SB 4.

"We will continue fighting until racism, the xenophobic and white supremist agenda is eradicated from Texas," said Fernando Garcia, executive director for Border Network for Human Rights.