SB4 requires all Law Enforcement personnel to cooperate with Immigration authorities, it has been called the “Show me your papers law”. According to how it has been sold to the public, it is a way to rid our state of immigrant criminals. And, if course if asked “Do you want to get rid of criminals?”, we would all rise our hands, immigrant or home grown.
Pero (but) I think we’ve’ all heard the saying, “Don’t throw away the baby with the bath water”, and part of that is true here. And, if you think that just because your family has been here for generations (Like my family), likely longer than Abbot and his buddies. Oh, that won’t’ happen to me, check your history, half a million Mexicans and Mexican Americans were rounded up and sent to Mexico in the late 30’s (The editor’s father Francisco Alvarado was one of those Mexican Americans deported.). To forget a bad history, is a sure way to repeat it. Especially given the vile and often disgusting rhetoric that has recently become almost mainstream again.
Many cities in Texas are opposing this law, that not only in my opinion is discriminatory, but will make it harder for Officers of the law to do their job. It will make our communities less safe, as undocumented residents will be afraid to report crime. Dallas Judge Clay Jenkins has been quoted as saying, “We do not live in a vacuum, if anyone is afraid to call 911, send their children to school or use medical facilities, it will make us all less safe”. Eso ese la verdad (That is the truth), when crime rises or disease rises it affects us all the same.
Many Texas cities like Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Austin and others have already taken steps to oppose the enforcement of this law in their respective cities. However, I am ashamed to say that Fort Worth has not, could it be because the mayor was at the Trump inauguration and buys into the politics of fear and divisiveness? I hope not, I really hope it is just a lack of clear education on the long-term consequences this law will have on what we hoped was a welcoming city. At least that is the way it has been advertised.
That may change soon, there is a group of concerned citizens led by Daniel Rodriguez that has formed under United Fort Worth as the opposition to SB4. This group has been meeting for the last several weeks and held a formal press conference on June 20, 2017 to announce their opposition in a formal press conference. They had a great turnout and support from local Latino elected officials.
Let’s all stand united behind United Fort Worth. In the words of Cesar Chavez, Si Se Puede!!!!!
By A. Govea