WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement today on Governor Greg Abbott’s signing of anti-immigrant bills:
“The package of laws signed by Governor Abbott is a cruel and unconstitutional attack on the basic rights of immigrants and millions of other Texans. We have seen the unnecessary disruption and destruction caused by previous anti-immigrant laws with an even smaller scope, and Texas’ SB4 will drastically undermine the civil rights of Latinos and others at the expense of the lives and livelihoods of all Texans.
“By allowing state law enforcement to engage in racial profiling, including the arrest and incarceration of those who they might claim to suspect look undocumented or look to have crossed between ports of entry, these laws will create a dangerous climate of fear, discrimination, and filled with civil rights violations. Furthermore, it is both wrong and a clear violation of the Constitution to create a new state criminal law to authorize state officials to arrest and deport individuals who are attempting to seek asylum.
“The impact of this cruel and illegal law will not be limited to immigrant communities. It will harm millions of Texans and prevent them from engaging in their daily life without fear of criminal retribution if these policies are not promptly blocked by the courts. SB4 will hurt the Texas economy by targeting millions of immigrants contributing enormously to the state’s workforce, driving innovation, entrepreneurship, and filling essential roles across industries responsible for spurring economic growth and bolstering job creation in the state.
“The signing of this law should send a clear signal to policymakers in Congress and the Administration that the very serious harms that come from attacks on those seeking refuge and by expanding policies like expedited removal that will lead to profiling and hurt immigrant communities.
“Texans deserve better than tried and failed anti-immigrant policies that have only made our migration challenges greater. What will actually improve border security and help the economy in Texas and across the country is building viable, safe legal avenues for immigration to take pressure off of the asylum system. When individuals and families are given the option of a legal and orderly channel, they consistently choose it over crossing without authorization. The Biden administration needs to take clear action in court and be a clear bulwark against this unconstitutional and cruel power grab by the Texas state government.”