STATEMENT: TCRP applauds federal court decision to grant preliminary injunction against the anti-immigrant, SB4
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Contact: Zenen Jaimes Perez
San Antonio, TX — Late Wednesday night, Judge Orlando Garcia granted a preliminary injunction against the anti-immigrant law, SB4. The court blocked all major portions of the law including provisions mandating cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers in local jails, restricting the free speech and power of local officials, and punishing local police that opt to not ask community members about their immigration status.
The court’s order means that local jurisdictions can continue to decide to what extent to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, as permitted by federal law.
The Texas Civil Rights Project represents the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund and MOVE San Antonio in the consolidated action against SB4 in San Antonio. TCRP is partnered with co-counsel Garza, Golando, & Moran, LLC, which represents El Paso County and several El Paso elected officials.
The state of Texas is expected to appeal.
Efrén C. Olivares, Racial & Economic Justice Program Director with the Texas Civil Rights Project, said:
“Today, Judge Orlando Garcia confirmed what we’ve known to be true all along: SB4 is unconstitutional, threatens public safety, and encourages racial profiling against Texans. We are proud to represent the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund and MOVE San Antonio in our litigation to stop this discriminatory law.”
“The Judge’s decision means that most of SB4 will not go into effect on Friday, September 1st, but the fight is not over yet. We fully expect state officials to appeal the ruling, and we are ready to go as far as necessary to ensure SB4 never has the chance to devastate our communities.”
“We don’t have to look far to see the real-life effects of this anti-immigrant laws. Instead of focusing on their safety, hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their families in Houston’s rising flood waters worried about facing deportation. Thanks to the efforts of Houston officials and the police department, the fears were quickly addressed. But this should never happen in the first place. We will celebrate this community victory and continue to fight back against all attempts to target immigrant communities in Texas.”
Drew Galloway, Executive Director of MOVE San Antonio, said:
“Months ago, we stood with students and young people across Texas against this discriminatory legislation. Tonight, we won the first battle to keep our friends and classmates safe from SB4. We will continue fighting for undocumented, DACA, and immigrant young people as long it takes.”
Michelle Tremillo, Executive Director of the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund, said:
“We are so grateful to have courts who protect our rights and freedoms, and keep overzealous legislators in check. SB4 would have encouraged and legalized racial profiling of Latinos and other communities of color.”
“This decision today feels like a ray of sunshine, and Texans, especially undocumented Texans, deserve a reprieve in what has been a steady assault of their families.
“We recognize this is just the first step in what we expect to be a protracted legal battle. Today, we will take a deep sigh of relief, and tomorrow we will keep fighting to stop SB4 in the courts and win proactive solutions that protect the freedom and dignity of undocumented families and all people of color.”
The Texas Civil Rights Project uses legal advocacy to empower Texas communities and create policy change. In its twenty-five year history, TCRP has brought thousands of strategic lawsuits, defending voting rights, fighting institutional discrimination, and reforming systems of criminal justice. Today — with dozens of high-caliber attorneys and professionals in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston and the Rio Grande Valley, and an extensive network of pro bono counsel and community allies — TCRP is among the most influential civil rights organizations in the Lone Star State.