U.S. Rep. Doggett: Anti-Immigrant Bill Puts Politics Over Public Safety —
July 21, 2017

U.S. Rep. Doggett: Anti-Immigrant Bill Puts Politics Over Public Safety

lloyd doggett
Rep Lloyd Doggett and protesters (photo by Shawna Reding)

According to the Texas Civil Rights Project, every Texan deserves to live with dignity, and the discriminatory “show me your papers” law, Senate Bill 4 (SB4), is a threat to millions of immigrants and people of color in the state.

SB4 violates several rights enshrined in the Constitution. At its core, the law violates the 14th amendment because it was adopted to target immigrants, Latinos, and people of color in Texas. The disparate impact is a direct threat to the guarantee of equal protection under law.

On June 28, U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Ranking Democrat on the House Ways & Means Tax Policy Subcommittee and former justice on the Texas Supreme Court, spoke on the House Floor in support of the immigrant community and local law enforcement and against the misleadingly-named Republican bill, “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act” and Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB4).

Rep. Doggett stated:

“This bill wrongfully endorses political interference with professional law enforcement leaders. With no legal authority, both President Trump and his Texas look-alike Governor Greg Abbott, want to deny funds and intimidate local governments who rightfully refuse to place politics above public safety.

“I would tell my Republican colleague from Georgia and his colleagues that the only lawlessness that exists here is the lawlessness of President Trump in trying to do this to such an extent, a federal court order stopped him. And they will also, I believe, stop Gov. Abbott and his outrageous Senate Bill 4.

“Our police chiefs in San Antonio and in Austin, our courageous Sheriff, Sally Hernandez, they say that maintaining the trust and confidence of the immigrant community to report crime, to be witnesses concerning crime that makes us all safer, immigrant and non-immigrant alike.

“Any proper arrest warrant presented by ICE will be honored everywhere. Detainers, which are merely a bureaucratic message saying the bureaucracy is suspicious of someone and should be imprisoned based on that suspicion, will not be, and federal courts say they should not be, under the Constitution. I would say that the only sanctuary that this bill provides is a sanctuary for prejudice.  It is a sanctuary that defies the reality of the America we have today, especially in the Southwest.

“We should reject this bill and affirm welcoming cities, like mine, that are a refuge to anti-immigrant hysteria. But have a strong commitment to safety and to effective law enforcement, and looking to our local law enforcement, not some political interference in Washington to tell us how to protect our families.

“This very week, four years ago, an overwhelming bipartisan United States Senate majority, approved comprehensive immigration reform. And like the amendments that are being blocked today, these Republicans were so fearful that that bill might become a law, they will not even permit us to debate it four years later on the floor of this House. Instead of this anti-immigrant hysteria, instead of this sorry piece of legislation, what we need is broad immigration reform and we need it now.”

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