DALLAS — Latino government officials from local, state and national office condemned the state's recently passed immigration policing law, Texas SB4, at the annual gathering of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).
The resolution calls for the law's repeal and asks for all Americans and Latinos to join in the opposition to the law that has drawn legal challenges that include several cities as plaintiffs, including the city of Dallas. Several officials attending the conference filed onto a stage to sign the resolution, which states it will be sent to President Donald Trump.
"In a state that is over 40 percent Latino for us to pass a "papers please" bill is incomprehensible," said Texas state Rep. Rafael Anchia said Thursday at a NALEO luncheon. NALEO is meeting through Saturday in Dallas.
The law was signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in May and is due to be enacted in the fall. The Department of Justice has indicated to officials involved in the suits that it may support the state in defending the lawsuit, according to media reports.
The governor has said the law is a public safety bill and will protect Texans from immigrants who have committed crimes and are not legally in the U.S. by preventing cities from enacting policies limiting cooperation with federal immigration enforcement officers.
But many Latino lawmakers and leaders have said the law is striking fear in Latino immigrants and citizens who fear they will be racially profiled because of the broad authority it gives law enforcement to question people about their citizenship and immigration status. Some law enforcement and police say the law is eroding trust between immigrants and law enforcement and will make police work more difficult.