Texas Immigration Enforcement Law: What’s Happening with Senate Bill 4

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There’s major buzz throughout the state of Texas due to recent news on Texas passing an immigration enforcement law, Senate Bill 4 (SB 4). This bill allows law enforcement to question the immigration status of anyone who gets arrested or looks suspicious. It also threatens officials who refuse to cooperate with federal immigration agents and the implementation of the new law. Over the 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump brought high attention to immigration and its controversy.

 

Now San Antonio and Austin, both major Texas cities, filed a lawsuit against the federal court to challenge the constitutionality of SB 4. MALDEF, a civil rights legal voice for Latinos in America, stated that this bill will only increase racial profiling against Latinos. This is by no means the first lawsuit against the federal court. When Trump administration tried to withhold fundings from sanctuary cities, San Francisco then sued Trump administration just recently.

 

San Antonio, Austin and non-profit organizations in Texas are working towards blocking SB 4 from being implemented by the state of Texas. MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defence and Education Fund) was sued just weeks ago by Texas governor, Greg Abbott for denouncing the sanctuary city law in back and forth law suits over immigration disputes.

 

With steep fines and criminal prosecution, the bill will try to force cities, counties and officials to comply with cracking down on the immigration law. Due to several factors of the bill, there are numerous non-profits and cities speaking up. With great controversy, many believe that SB 4 violates the Constitution. Federal immigration law enforcement takes training, knowledge and practice. It can’t simply be implemented by any officer or government official, creating a major concern of racial profiling and the safety of immigrants after acknowledging the history of racism against Mexican-Americans in Texas.

 

Texas federal government as well as the immigration enforcement law supporters will try to enact SB 4 on September 1, 2017. If this law is indeed enacted, many fear the racial profiling and cultural challenges that Latinos, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans face going forward.

 

Instead of immigrants moving to the United States and being treated like U.S. Citizens, Texas law will view them as foreigners. Anti-discrimination and non-profits will continue to push hard in order to fight for the civil rights of Mexican-Americans and their citizenship in the months to come as all eyes in Texas are on the SB 4 immigration enforcement law.

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Texas Immigration Enforcement Law: What’s Happening with Senate Bill 4

Abogado Aly Latest Blog Post

 

Abogado Aly Senate

There’s major buzz throughout the state of Texas due to recent news on Texas passing an immigration enforcement law, Senate Bill 4 (SB 4). This bill allows law enforcement to question the immigration status of anyone who gets arrested or looks suspicious. It also threatens officials who refuse to cooperate with federal immigration agents and the implementation of the new law. Over the 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump brought high attention to immigration and its controversy.

 

Now San Antonio and Austin, both major Texas cities, filed a lawsuit against the federal court to challenge the constitutionality of SB 4. MALDEF, a civil rights legal voice for Latinos in America, stated that this bill will only increase racial profiling against Latinos. This is by no means the first lawsuit against the federal court. When Trump administration tried to withhold fundings from sanctuary cities, San Francisco then sued Trump administration just recently.

 

San Antonio, Austin and non-profit organizations in Texas are working towards blocking SB 4 from being implemented by the state of Texas. MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defence and Education Fund) was sued just weeks ago by Texas governor, Greg Abbott for denouncing the sanctuary city law in back and forth law suits over immigration disputes.

 

With steep fines and criminal prosecution, the bill will try to force cities, counties and officials to comply with cracking down on the immigration law. Due to several factors of the bill, there are numerous non-profits and cities speaking up. With great controversy, many believe that SB 4 violates the Constitution. Federal immigration law enforcement takes training, knowledge and practice. It can’t simply be implemented by any officer or government official, creating a major concern of racial profiling and the safety of immigrants after acknowledging the history of racism against Mexican-Americans in Texas.

 

Texas federal government as well as the immigration enforcement law supporters will try to enact SB 4 on September 1, 2017. If this law is indeed enacted, many fear the racial profiling and cultural challenges that Latinos, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans face going forward.

 

Instead of immigrants moving to the United States and being treated like U.S. Citizens, Texas law will view them as foreigners. Anti-discrimination and non-profits will continue to push hard in order to fight for the civil rights of Mexican-Americans and their citizenship in the months to come as all eyes in Texas are on the SB 4 immigration enforcement law.

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ICE: Functioning Among Chaos

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As the laws and regulations of immigration are widely debated, including the border wall and sanctuary cities, eyes are on ICE as they’re demeanor and actions are a target of the news. A Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement was established in 2003 to better protect the safety of citizens after the tragic attack on 9/11. ICE has been pressing forward with the safety of the nation’s borders for years.

In recent news, Mexican crime and deportation is just one of President Donald Trump’s focus to crack down on. In attempts to reduce the crime of illegal immigrants, Trump sought to withhold funding from sanctuary cities, as some local governs, Greg Abbott of Texas for example, already have.

This brings the public’s attention to ICE. One of the largest sweeps in Texas just occurred, arresting 26 undocumented immigrants who thought they were paying their dues through community service. Paroles in Fort Worth, Texas were court ordered to give their dues through community service, however when they arrived there was an ICE bus waiting for them, taking them into customs in Dallas where they will receive their sentencing.

Many citizens, including those who have loved ones accounted for in the 26 arrested, are furious over this sneaky, meticulous attempt to remove undocumented immigrants who have been here for years. One American citizen recently married an undocumented immigrant from Honduras and stated this situation is unjust. The immigrants who are paying for their mistakes are punished further while the uncaught criminals remain free, posing threats with more dangerous crimes than the misdemeanors of the 26 arrested.

Other citizens aren’t taking the role of ICE seriously, and have started to prank call the VOICE (Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement) hotline. Numerous prank calls have been received, reporting “aliens” from outer space to mock Trump’s terminology of illegal immigrants as “aliens” in the country. VOICE is a line for victims to obtain information, and yet certain people in the public have found this mockable.

Along with Trump’s signed order to withhold funding from sanctuary cities, came is proposal to hire 10,000 employees in addition to the ICE task force. This would have been a costly plan, with the expectation of funding from congress. However, among all the chaos surrounding ICE news, they have found a way round it.

ICE’s new priority is to enforce more serious crimes such as: human trafficking, drug smuggling and the violation to immigration law. By taking over more serious crimes, ICE may appear more trustworthy in the eyes of the public and local officials.

There are mixed opinions on the role of ICE, but hopefully in the future, the government will come to an agreement on the role of ICE and how it should be functioning in regards to local, state and federal government.

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The Debate of Sanctuary Cities

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In a previous blog post, we discussed the fear of deportation and how Mexican citizenship is on the rise as families fear separation due to the government reinforcing immigration laws.

In the United States and Canada, sanctuary cities are determined to reduce fear of deportation through limited cooperation with the national government and its immigration laws. By making the undocumented immigrants feel safe, it gives them more opportunity to report crime, enroll their children in school and opt for health and social services.

The sanctuary policies that more and more cities are adapting prohibit government and city employees from asking an immigrant about their status in the United States. It brings the question to rise if whether or not it’s constitutional for local police and government to enforce immigration laws.

Back in January of 2017, President Donald Trump declared that sanctuary cities would be punished through federal funding being withheld from any city with sanctuary policies. However, a judge in San Francisco blocked that plan stating Trump had exceeded his presidential authority. This judge was not the only one to believe that withholding funding unless a city complies with federal immigration enforcement and laws, believing this is unconstitutional and the President doesn’t have the right to sign such regulations.

There is major debate between sanctuary cities and the rest of the government. Washington made a statement declaring that sanctuary cities put the protection of illegal immigrants above the safety of their citizens. Sanctuary cities prevent their local police and government from sharing criminal immigrants with federal authorities, meaning an illegal immigrant that breaks the law and serves in jail has almost zero risk of deportation inside a sanctuary city.

Many outside of the sanctuary city policies think that even if these cities mean well for illegal immigrants that mean no harm, it places too much protection on the immigrants who are criminals, involved with human trafficking, drugs and the death of abiding American citizens.

Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, supports the restrictions to sanctuary cities and withholding funding for not complying with federal immigration laws. Abbott brings a great point to the forefront of this debate: federal, state or local government all have one primary function – to keep our people safe.

So are sanctuary cities safe? Stay tuned as this debate continues.

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Among the Fear: Mexican Citizenship is on the Rise

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In a recent post, we outlined citizenship based on jus sanguinis – the birthright of citizenship. To recap, any child born on United States land is granted U.S. Citizenship. This also pertains to any child born overseas to a U.S. citizen, the child is granted U.S. Citizenship. With the current state of immigration and citizenship in the United States under Trump, documented and undocumented immigrants fear what is to come.

The majority of fear being located in California finds duel citizenship on the rise for Mexican children born in United States territory. Mexican immigrant parents are thinking ahead in the event of deportation. One thing everyone is following closely is the deportation of parents, forcing their U.S. citizen children to be left behind.

Families are concerned with separation, thus their uprising call to action. Over the last year, there have been about 100 applications for dual citizenship, with this year already at a steady 150 applicants. It brings to attention a significant question: If parents are deported to Mexico, shouldn’t their children be as well?

A Mexican consul, Jesús Gutiérrez, at the Mexican consulate in San Francisco states that this conceptual fear is unfounded. Some of the major facts Gutiérrez points out are:

  • If parents are deported, they can take their children with or without documentation
  • Dual citizenship is much easier to obtain in Mexico
  • Mexico already plans to take in a large number of American-born children

Although numerous Mexican immigrants are applying for legal residency, their main concern is the blockage of applications due to Trump’s new deportation regulations. Anyone charged or convicted of a crime, no matter how minor, could be subjected to deportation. During Obama’s presidency, the highest priority of illegal immigrants were criminals. Those in jeopardy of deportation has now expanded dramatically to virtually any immigrant in the United States without legal documentation.

Despite efforts to gain U.S. citizenship, Mexican immigrants are in panic mode. Although a large requirement of documentation is required in the dual citizenship application, only one parent has to legally be a Mexican citizen for the child’s dual citizenship. Marriage licenses, and the children’s birth certificates are just a few of the many documentations required for applying.

What this all boils down to is the quality of life. Immigrants move to the United States simply because the quality of life is better. Education and health benefits are high priority in the minds of Mexican immigrant parents with U.S. citizen children. Through dual citizenship to the United States and Mexico, children under the age of 18 will have immediate access to education and health benefits in both countries.

No matter what deportation and immigration laws have in store for undocumented immigrants, parents are fighting for the rights of their children through a dual citizenship backup plan.

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Among the Fear: Mexican Citizenship is on the Rise

Abogado Aly Latest Blog Post

Abogado-Aly-Dual-Citizenship

In a recent post, we outlined citizenship based on jus sanguinis – the birthright of citizenship. To recap, any child born on United States land is granted U.S. Citizenship. This also pertains to any child born overseas to a U.S. citizen, the child is granted U.S. Citizenship. With the current state of immigration and citizenship in the United States under Trump, documented and undocumented immigrants fear what is to come.

The majority of fear being located in California finds duel citizenship on the rise for Mexican children born in United States territory. Mexican immigrant parents are thinking ahead in the event of deportation. One thing everyone is following closely is the deportation of parents, forcing their U.S. citizen children to be left behind.

Families are concerned with separation, thus their uprising call to action. Over the last year, there have been about 100 applications for dual citizenship, with this year already at a steady 150 applicants. It brings to attention a significant question: If parents are deported to Mexico, shouldn’t their children be as well?

A Mexican consul, Jesús Gutiérrez, at the Mexican consulate in San Francisco states that this conceptual fear is unfounded. Some of the major facts Gutiérrez points out are:

  • If parents are deported, they can take their children with or without documentation
  • Dual citizenship is much easier to obtain in Mexico
  • Mexico already plans to take in a large number of American-born children

Although numerous Mexican immigrants are applying for legal residency, their main concern is the blockage of applications due to Trump’s new deportation regulations. Anyone charged or convicted of a crime, no matter how minor, could be subjected to deportation. During Obama’s presidency, the highest priority of illegal immigrants were criminals. Those in jeopardy of deportation has now expanded dramatically to virtually any immigrant in the United States without legal documentation.

Despite efforts to gain U.S. citizenship, Mexican immigrants are in panic mode. Although a large requirement of documentation is required in the dual citizenship application, only one parent has to legally be a Mexican citizen for the child’s dual citizenship. Marriage licenses, and the children’s birth certificates are just a few of the many documentations required for applying.

What this all boils down to is the quality of life. Immigrants move to the United States simply because the quality of life is better. Education and health benefits are high priority in the minds of Mexican immigrant parents with U.S. citizen children. Through dual citizenship to the United States and Mexico, children under the age of 18 will have immediate access to education and health benefits in both countries.

No matter what deportation and immigration laws have in store for undocumented immigrants, parents are fighting for the rights of their children through a dual citizenship backup plan.

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Texas and Immigration ‘Harboring’ Law

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Texas is home to one of the largest immigration populations in the country. It is estimated that 17% of people in Texas were born on foreign soil. With the state’s proximity to Mexico, many people come into this country illegally. There are over a million undocumented immigrants in the state of Texas. In order to control illegal immigration, Texas has passed HB 11. A federal appeals court heard the state but favored Texas.

 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill to increase state police and increase the technology along the Texas border. The state has numerous gang members and dangerous people who are illegal immigrants. This bill will begin the effort to hire extra troopers and other qualified people who can patrol the Texas border. The penalties for human smuggling will be increased, and crime data along the border will be examined. The National Guard will continue to monitor the border until troopers can be hired. More than 250 troopers are expected to be hired.

 

While this bill is an effort to keep the citizens of Texas safe,  U.S. District Judge David Alan Ezra blocked the state from enforcing it, with the provision being “overly broad in scope and potential impact.”  Though Texas public safety officials have argued that the provision is clear in only targeting those smuggling humans, and not illegal immigrants already in the state.

 

This effort will cost over $300 million, so people who are opposed to this bill want to know statistics that mass number of illegal immigrants are really occurring. Texas officials proclaim that more than 25,000 illegal immigrants come across the border each month. These opponents say there is no proof that these efforts will be effective. It is an awful lot of money to spend, so it needs to be successful.

 

After the bill passed, a company sued the state on behalf of two landlords saying their employees were not required to provide immigration status. However, a federal court stated that the State of Texas has the right to pass the bill. The landlords were relieved that the state cannot prosecute them for renting property to illegal immigrants or employing illegal immigrants.

Sources:

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