Concern has been raised over conventions, employers and events leaving Texas if that controversial 'Bathroom Bill' is approved, but the state is already losing profitable, high profile events due to the approval of that bill outlawing sanctuary cities, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association was planning on holding its annual convention in the Dallas area next year, but the group's president says those plans are changing, and the group will hold its event in some other state.
AILA President Bill Stock says the anti sanctuary measure, technically called SB 4, is 'dangerous, destructive, and counter productive.'
At the same time, two Democratic U.S. Senators, in a statement, asked that the high profile South by Southwest music and arts festival, which has been held in Austin every spring for decades and is at the root of that city's reputation as the 'Live Music Capital of the Country' be moved out of Austin due to SB4.
"The culture and safety of the event would be greatly diminished if your attendants are faced with the humiliation and harassment that this new law would inflict," the Senators, Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, said in a statement.
In a classic response modeled on William Barret Travis's famous Letter from the Alamo, Austin Mayor Steve Adler responded:
"The Mayoralty of Austin
Travis, Jun. 7. 2017
To the People of the United States of America & All Good People in the World –Fellow Citizens & compatriots —I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the bills and laws of the State under Governor Abbott – Austin has sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for five months. The State has demanded a surrender, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the City is taken – I have answered the demand with a taco joke & our flag still waves proudly from the walls – I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch — because now people think it’s a good idea to protest SB4 by asking SXSW to leave Austin, which is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard."
Adler then went on to talk about how his overwhelmingly Democratic county has fought hard to prevent SB 4 from being approved.
"Would you protest censorship under the Soviet Union by boycotting the books of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn? Would you protest the Berlin Wall by boycotting the Berlin Air Lift? Nothing will play into the hands of those whom we oppose more than boycotting Austin, the city they call the People’s Republic of Austin and that we call home," Adler wrote.
SB 4 would forbid cities from enacting 'Sanctuary' policies, and would thrown local officials in prison if they fail to cooperate with immigration agents. In the most controversial part of the bill, SB 4 'allows' police officers to inquire about the immigration status of individuals who are 'detained,' what opponents call the 'show me your papers' provision.