Press Statement

UnidosUS Applauds Ruling to Stop Texas Racial Profiling Bill

August 30, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, a Texas federal judge ruled that S.B. 4, a bill that would allow law enforcement to detain or arrest people based on their immigration status, is unconstitutional. The decision temporarily blocks the law’s implementation.

“We’re encouraged by today’s ruling against S.B. 4, a law that would have opened the door for rampant racial profiling and would have devastating consequences on so many Latino families, other communities of color, public safety, and the Texas economy,” said UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) President and CEO Janet Murguía.

Law enforcement and civil rights groups are concerned about the negative impact S.B. 4 would have on public safety and community-police relations. As seen in the cases of similar legislation like S.B. 1070 in Arizona, crimes go unreported and cooperation with police deteriorates when local police act as immigration agents.

In addition to being a civil rights violation, estimates show that implementing S.B. 4 would result in severe economic losses. A recent Center for American Progress survey demonstrates that the state’s GDP would shrink between $9.2 billion and $13.8 billion, if 10–15 percent of undocumented workers leave Texas, as occurred in states like Arizona. Between 165,000 and 248,000 jobs would also be lost, and local and state revenues would drop between $220 million and $335 million each year.

“Though today’s decision is a positive step, the fight to ensure S.B. 4 and laws like it are struck down is far from over. We’re committed to working with national and local partners to ensure that these divisive and destructive laws are nullified, and that our communities are aware of their rights as the legal process plays out,” Murguía added.

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nations largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For almost 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit www.unidosus.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact:
Camila Gallardo
cgallardo@unidosus.org
(305) 215-4259