By Ana Acosta, Managing Editor.
On May 7, 2017, Gov. Greg Abbott passed the Senate Bill 4 along with the houses of the Texas legislature. This law was set to take effect on Sept. 1, but was temporarily blocked by Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia. According to Breaking News NPR, the SB4 law was set to give local law enforcement, including campus police such as those at Lone Star College-Kingwood, authority to question a person’s immigration status during routine public interactions. Local officials were to follow the requests of federal immigration authorities, like the U.S Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), to detain any person that is suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.
- Why was it temporarily blocked? The SB4 law would have motivated racial profiling among people and would also violate the First and Fourth Amendments. A total of five Texas cities (San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Houston, and El Cenizo) have formed a lawsuit claiming that SB4 would sabotage the cooperation between the local officials and immigrants.
- Who does this effect? Not only can this law affect the thousands of illegal residents in the state of Texas, but it can also affect the local law enforcement officials. How? SB4 threatens, according to Breaking News NPR, to fine or remove from office any local law enforcement officials who do not comply with the federal immigration authorities.
- How will it affect the immigration community? Judge Orlando Garcia believed that the SB4 would “erode public trust and make communities less safe”. The National Immigration Forum stated that this law, “makes it more difficult for law enforcement to keep everyone in the community safe because relationships of trust between immigrants and law enforcement will give way to fear and tension”.
- What will happen when it goes into effect? Many of the undocumented people living in the U.S. will become extremely worried that everytime they get into their vehicle, they not only could get pulled over, but can also be questioned on their legal status. Fear and anxiety will kick in to the lives of these people.
- How will this impact Lone Star College-Kingwood? According to Kingwood.com, the populated percentage of Hispanics in Kingwood is 7.8%. For the Fall 2016 semester at LSC-Kingwood, 14.3% of the enrolled population were Hispanics. This could mean some of the students attending the Kingwood campus, will fear driving out to school and getting pulled over. This also foreshadows a decrease in enrollments and increase in dropouts. The relationship between the public and law enforcement will definitely bring fear into the students at Kingwood and around the area.
Do you have any more questions regarding SB4? Leave a comment below.