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For all of our diversity — from our friends and neighbors to our art and cultural scenes (especially the food) – we still have a nasty conservative streak. This fear-filled perspective is in full effect now with SB4 about to take effect on Sep 1. Signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in May, the law forces peace officers at every level, including the university one, to demand the legal status of anyone stopped for any infraction, including vehicular, who looks – looks – like he or she is not from ’round here (translation: who looks Hispanic). Can’t prove your citizenship on the spot? Off to the clink while ICE sorts out your status.

SB4 is stupid for lots of reasons. First, nobody can prove he or she is a citizen – we don’t have national papers. Second, the Texas economy depends on illegal sweat to lay our roads, roof our houses, pick our crops, clean our hotels, maintain our lawns, cook our outstanding Tex-Mex, and more. Lastly and most importantly, when people believe they’re going be questioned about their legal status anytime they’re around law enforcement, they tend not to report crimes. When people don’t report crimes, they open themselves up to more victimization. SB4 is so bad that every major police force in the state is officially opposed to it. Even Fort Worth’s. All this, despite the huge fines and potential top-down firings that await police departments that don’t follow it.

But Fort Worth City Council sees things differently. That’s why our fair ville will be the largest Texas city not opposed to the law. Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and El Paso have all joined a lawsuit to stop SB4 before it starts. The reasoning? It’s discriminatory, period. “It’s bad for families, bad for cities, and bad for business,” District 9 Councilmember Ann Zedah told the Star-Telegram recently.

What did Mayor Betsy Price have to say?

“I just don’t know whether there’s anything to gain by joining the lawsuit.”

Other than, y’know, making a bigly statement against the racist legislators in Austin.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Very disappointed in Betsy Price and her leadership in this regard. Definitely need a stronger effort to get blues to the poles in local elections.

  2. Whoever wrote this has never read Texas SB4. It will be codified as Subchapter C, Section 752, Texas Government Code. Look it up! It’s only a couple of pages and easily readable.

    It does NOT “force peace officers to demand the legal status of anyone who looks Hispanic.” The law does PERMIT peace officers to inquire into immigration status. This is intended to clamp down on sanctuary cities which have refused to allow peace officers to make such inquiries.

    The law does NOT say or imply that anyone who looks Hispanic and cannot prove legal presence here gets whisked off to jail. It is not a “show me your papers” law.

    No honest journalist could make such claims about Texas SB4.

    • Well, you know we tend to let our snark out a little in the Static column, but we’re not wrong here. You’re the one stretching it:Of course the law does not “force peace officers to demand the legal status of anyone who looks Hispanic”, but you wrote that, not us. We just know that the law will be interpreted that way. Which does make it a “show me your papers” law.
      And we’re not along in seeing it for racist law that it is: The police chiefs from Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio all railed against SB4 in a letter published in several newspapers in May. Religious leaders across the state are against it. Democrats in state and local legislatures are against it. They all see it for what it is: Another racist tool designed to keep the hardest workers in the state from ever being accepted.
      The people the law will target are not criminals, because criminals are already targeted by police forces. This law will be targeting the people who roof houses in the Texas heat, lay tar on roads in August, pick dozens of bushels of fruit and vegetables daily, clean up condoms and vomit in motel and hotel rooms, and do a host of other work no one else is willing or able to do.
      Now, if you really want to put a good law in place, just start giving out work permits to everyone here who is already working. That would be the way to go.

  3. LOL. Peter Gorman, you’re washed up dude. Not only did the Weekly staff not read SB4 before commenting on its implications; you didn’t read the Weekly article before commenting on what it says! You say my criticism of the article for stating that SB4 “forces peace officers to demand the legal status of anyone who looks Hispanic” is misplaced because the article doesn’t say that. You say I made up the quote. Here’s copied-and-pasted text from the Weekly article:

    [T]he law forces peace officers at every level, including the university one, to demand the legal status of anyone stopped for any infraction, including vehicular, who looks – looks – like he or she is not from ’round here (translation: who looks Hispanic). [End quoted text].

    I’ve noted that several of your replies to comments in the last few months have been off-the-wall hysterical. You need to lay off the ayahuasca or something.

  4. Fan: Dang. Washed up? Darn. I not only read the short piece, I wrote it. I read SB4 months before it was even introduced. It is exactly what I described it to be; there is no other reading. Sorry.
    PS: When you quote someone, you do not have the privilege of paraphrasing or parsing as you did. That takes it out of quote territory.

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