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