Now that almost all of that Texas law banning co-called 'Sanctuary Cities' has been upheld by a federal appeals court and will be enforced, the next move by immigrant rights groups will be a 'caravan' across the state to 'advise' immigrants on how they can protect themselves, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
State Representative Cesar Blanco (D-El Paso) says the caravan will travel from El Paso, along the Rio Grande and then north to San Antonio and Houston over the coming two weeks, to talk with immigrants who are worried about the new law.
He says their concerns are already showing up at local police departments."According to the Houston Police Department, the number of Hispanics reporting sexual assault has dropped almost 41% just in the first three months of 2018," he said, adding that demonstrates how S.B. 4 makes Texas less safe, because the perpetrators of all those sexual assaults remain on the loose, because victims and witnesses are afraid to come forward out of fear of being turned over to ICE for deportation.
State Sen Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso) says the caravan is necessary because of the high profile legal challenges to SB 4, immigants may have lost track of its status.
"The caravan idea is necessary because there has been several court decisions, and I think there is a lot of confusion," he said.
SB 4 requires local governments to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement by notifying them when a person who is in the U.S. illegally is in their jail or custody. It also allows, but does not require, local police officers and sheriff's deputies to inquire about the immigration status of a person who is 'detained,' and it calls for fines and removal from office of police chiefs, sheriffs, mayors, and other local officials who attempt to impose 'sanctuary'policies or refuses to cooperate with ICE.
Most of the law was upheld by a federal appeals court last month, but an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court by opponents is likely.
Supporters of the law say it makes Texas safer, because dangerous criminal illegal immigrants are deported.