Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin Say New Texas Legislation Gives Law Enforcement Free Reign

Frontera Fund executives, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin said, immigrants living in Texas will now be subject to a “show me the papers” standard, since Texas Governor, Greg Abbott ratified a controversial bill.

The governor of Texas, Republican Greg Abbott affirmed the controversial state bill banning “sanctuary cities” in Texas, and authorizes the police to question the immigration status of detainees.

Last month, Abbot initialed the legislation that seeks to penalize local governments and universities that choose not to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in the identification of undocumented immigrants. The law is known as SB4, the initiative to ban so-called “sanctuary cities” and Abbot also signed an amendment that was approved by the House of Representatives that allows law enforcement to interrogate the immigration status of those arrested in Texas.

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin say the amendment is very similar to the one approved in Arizona in 2010, widely known as “show me the papers,” where police authorities may ask the immigration status of individuals who, for example, are stopped for a traffic matter.

Larkin and Lacey point out that this bill is much different from previous ones targeting sanctuary cities because, Texans sheriffs who are in charge of the officers that do not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) could face jail time. Additionally, the law also includes a measure that allows government agencies to be penalized up to $25,000 per day. Read more: About Lacey and Larkin- Frontera Fund

Despite Governor Abbot receiving strong pressure from various fields, including economic, cultural and numerous associations like The Frontera Fund, that advocate for civil rights, the governor made it clear from the beginning that his position was to end this type of cities in Texas.

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin point out that these measures will stop undocumented immigrants and place them in a situation of helplessness, as they will be exposed to arrest and deportation.

The Frontera Fund, launched in 2013, helps to educate the public of racial, civil, and human rights harms. The organization also provides a platform for other grassroots organizations to campaign against injustices.

The leading players with a significant role are activists Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. After experiencing injustice and a false arrest at the hands of controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and winning a $3.7 million settlement, Larkin and Lacey founded The Frontera Fund, that was initially, loosely structured around the Hispanic community and immigrant issues. Today, resources are directed towards a larger variety of issues and the organization supports a broad of grassroots organizations.

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