Texas immigration advocates plan caravan border tour

State immigration activists announced Monday that they’ll be traveling along the U.S. border with Mexico over the course of two weeks addressing concerns regarding Senate Bill 4.

The bill would require local law enforcement to work with federal immigration authorities. Since it was introduced, the bill raised concerns about racial profiling.

SB4 passed the Texas Legislature in May 2017 but was met with legal challenges.

In August 2017, a federal judge in San Antonio blocked the bill on the basis that it “invites arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement against disfavored localities,” he wrote in the ruling.

On March 13, a federal court ruled that SB4 may take affect, to the disdain of immigration advocates throughout the state. A clause from the original bill that blocks local officials from “endorsing” policies that limit immigration enforcement was rejected.

But concerns about the bill’s constitutionality still remain.

“Let’s talk about what the court decision (SB4) really means,” state Sen. Jose Rodriquez, D-El Paso, said in a news release. “First of all, it’s a preliminary injunction that conducts a full trial on the merits. We need to remember that the Constitution itself is not suspended. It has to be complied with. It doesn’t mean that law enforcement can act as immigration officer. They cannot stop and arrest people without probable because of their immigration status.”

The caravan will address SB4, provide “Know Your Rights” and abuse documentation training and provide insight on how immigrants should maneuver the law.

“The TogetherJuntos Caravan was born out of the need to respond to the attack against Latino, immigrant and communities of color created by passage and implementation of the racist law SB 4,” Fernando Garcia, executive director of Border Network for Human Rights, said in the release. “The aim of the caravan is to connect different communities to create a joint effort to resist the anti-immigrant attack in Texas.”

They’ll be in McAllen on Friday, April 6 and in San Juan on April 7 for the Marcha de Cesar Chavez. For more information, visit americasvoice.org/press_releases/texas-immigration-advocates-launch-togetherjuntos-caravan/.