On Mother’s Day, Hundreds Protest Senate Bill 4 at Governor’s Mansion

Hundreds marched against the anti-'sanctuary cities' bill that many say could tear immigrant families apart.

On Mother's Day, more than a hundred protesters march from Austin City Hall to the Governor's Mansion in protest of Senate Bill 4 — the anti-"sanctuary cities" bill that critics say could tear families apart.

Posted by The Texas Observer on Sunday, May 14, 2017

On Mother’s Day in Austin, hundreds of demonstrators marched from City Hall to the Governor’s Mansion in protest of Senate Bill 4, the anti-“sanctuary cities” bill that critics say will tear immigrant families apart. The protest, billed as “Madres de Texas en la Lucha,” came one week after Governor Greg Abbott signed the controversial law.

Protesters marched with signs reading “sin papeles, sin miedo,” “brown skin is not probable cause,” and “a mama’s place is in the resistance.”

“Because of politicians like Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick, mi mamá and millions of others are living in fear of being rejected, kicked out of the communities that they helped build,” said Berenice Ramirez Campos, a student activist with Jolt Texas, a Latino activist group.

sb 4
Outside the Governor’s Mansion at Mother’s Day SB 4 protest.  Gus Bova

SB 4, which goes into effect September 1, will allow police to ask people who’ve been detained — not just arrested — to prove citizenship, and also threatens to jail law enforcement officials who limit cooperation with federal immigration agents.

On Sunday, Austin City Council Members Delia Garza and Greg Casar told the crowd that they declared May 14, 2017 “Texas Moms Fight Back Day.”

“This Mother’s Day is different because it feels like a dark cloud has descended on us from the Texas Capitol,” said Garza. “But I promise we will not back down from this fight we deeply believe in.”

Critics have compared SB 4 to Arizona’s infamous “show me your papers” legislation, which was partially struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Civil rights groups have promised to challenge the law.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed his own preemptive lawsuit which he hopes will lead to a federal court declaring SB 4 constitutional. The suit names various Travis County and City of Austin officials, including Garza and Casar.

Gus Bova reports on immigration, the U.S.-Mexico border and grassroots movements for the Observer. He formerly worked at a shelter for asylum-seekers and refugees. You can contact him at [email protected]

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Published at 3:44 pm CST
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