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State officials have a notorious history of discriminating against Texas residents due to immutable and arbitrary characteristics, including race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation and physical disability.
Our work ferrets out discriminatory policies that restrict access to social and economic necessities and protects the civil rights of historically marginalized communities – including immigrants, people with disabilities, and veterans.
During the 2017 Texas legislative session, state officials rammed through one of the strictest and harshest anti-immigrant laws in the country, SB4, despite overwhelming opposition from members of the public, city officials, and law enforcement leaders from across the state.
The law allowed law enforcement officers to act as federal immigration officers, punished dissenting public officials who disagreed with the law, and was designed to strike fear into immigrant communities and tamp down public participation.
On behalf of the community organizing groups the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund and MOVE San Antonio, and in partnership with El Paso County and county officials, including the county sheriff, TCRP filed a lawsuit challenging SB4 — aiming to protect public safety, prevent racial profiling, and protect local law enforcement.
When Donald Trump began his presidential campaign in 2015, he did so promising to build a destructive and unnecessary border wall between Mexico and the United States. So when the administration took office, TCRP was ready to respond.
In April 2017, TCRP launched a campaign against the construction of the border wall by mobilizing the community to understand and know their rights, amplify their voices through the collection and publication of personal stories, and provide legal representation to landowners along the U.S.-Mexico border. We drew from our experiences bringing similar litigation a decade ago when the Bush administration sought construction of a border fence under the Secure Fence Act.
The wave of anti-immigrant sentiment across the country has also had very real and negative effects on the everyday lives of immigrants facing our convoluted and broken immigration and asylum system. Since 2008 there has been a fivefold increase in asylum seekers arriving to the country, a large percentage of those arriving to Texas. Instead of finding relief from violence and suffering, they encounter detention, mistreatment, and sometimes violence from those tasked with protecting our country’s borders.
Violations of the 5th Amendment are all too common among the thousands of people who encounter our immigration system every day. TCRP has long been a leader in protecting the constitutional rights of immigrants and in 2018 we will continue pursuing litigation against federal immigration agencies that refuse to comply with the constitutional right to a fair legal process for all immigrants and asylum seekers.