FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 04/27/2017
Representative Gene Wu Statement on the Passage of Senate Bill 4
AUSTIN, TX – Today's passage of Senate Bill 4 is a solution in search of a problem. This is a bill that has been crafted out of fear and hatred of immigrants. Not a single Texas city refuses to comply with voluntary ICE Detainers. Not a single Texas city can be called a "Sanctuary City." The bill as passed, would not just detain criminals, but would target children, victims of crimes, and even immigrants who served in our armed forces. The Texas Legislature has now passed an Arizona-style, "Show-me-your-papers" law that will disproportionately affect communities such as those that make up District 137 --- hardworking communities made up of native and non-native Texans, refugees, and immigrants both documented and undocumented.
This legislation is cruel. When it was made clear this bill would cause American citizens to be jailed and detained, it was shrugged off as an unfortunate inconvenience. When amendments were offered to exempt children and victims going to testify in court, those measures were repeatedly rejected.
When I first spoke on this bill I couldn't stop thinking about my boys. This bill and other laws like it are a constant reminder that, despite being born in this nation, they will be seen as outsiders because of the way they look; that the law will treat them with suspicion; and they will have to fight just to be treated equally. I was reminded that this is not the first time laws were passed against immigrants based on fear and hatred. And, it will not be the last.
Opposition to this legislation was passionate and intense because this felt like an attack on the diverse communities that we represent and that make Texas great. At the end of the day, what was asked for was mercy for our communities; mercy for our families; and mercy for our children. But no mercy was given.
Contact: Amy Bruno