SB 4 protesters rally at Capitol
AUSTIN, Texas - At the stroke of a pen in early May, Governor Greg Abbott signed into law, SB 4, but not without some controversy.
“Just because things are law, doesn't make them right,” said Oscar Hernandez, protester.
SB 4, which takes effect in September, will prevent local communities from establishing sanctuary city policies. It would also protect police officers when they ask for citizenship status under certain circumstances.
Oscar Hernandez came to the Capitol, along with hundreds more, on the last day of the legislature to show his opposition.
“SB 4 is a show me your papers bill, it's a racist law that was introduced to allow officers to racially profile,” said Hernandez.
He admits he is an undocumented immigrant who came to America with his family at two years old. His dad, started a business in the United States.
“There were a lot of corn subsidies and trade between the U.S. and Mexico that would allow his farm to actually develop into something successful. So he had to bring all of us here,” said Hernandez.
Now that SB 4 is law, he thinks it could lead to racial profiling.
“I've had friends arrested and thrown in jail because they didn't carry a license with them, and they're citizens,” said Hernandez.
After being sued by the attorney general as a pre-emptive strike, the city of Austin voted to take their own legal action, as will several other cities, all against SB 4.
“It is you who gave us the courage on Austin city council to overwhelmingly turn back on Ken Paxton and say, ‘no we will see you in court,’” said Greg Casar, Austin City Council member.
“There are a lot of problems with senate bill 4, including the provision that says that I can be removed from office for endorsing a policy that's different from Senate Bill 4,” said Mayor Steve Adler, City of Austin.
Those who support SB 4 say it would make communities safe. Mayor Adler says the opposite. Some have even said immigrants may not be quick to report crimes.
“Senate Bill 4 is going to detrimentally impact our trust relationships that taxpayers spend a lot of time and money building,” said Adler.
As the 85th legislature ends, opponents say they will still exhaust all avenues to roll back the law.