Texas Leaders, National Experts Discuss Impacts of SB 4 Across Texas and Beyond

Communications Associate

May 9, 2017

Contact Cathleen Farrell for a link to a recording of the call.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) will have serious public safety and economic impacts, Texas faith, law enforcement and business leaders said on a press call today.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law Sunday evening, and it will take effect Sept. 1. SB 4 will impose harsh civil and criminal penalties on cities, counties and law enforcement that opt not to perform federal immigration enforcement activities beyond what federal laws require.

The following are quotes from speakers on the call:

Art Acevedo, Houston Police Chief:
“SB 4 really makes it a lot more difficult for law enforcement to keep our entire community safe. The fear that this is creating — that rogue police officers, rather than combating violent crime or property crime, are going to become ICE agents — really has a chilling effect. … We know that the unintended consequences are not just making the immigrant community less safe but making all in the community less safe.”

Cathy Stoebner DeWitt, Vice President, Governmental Affairs, Texas Association of Business:
“Whenever Texas or any other state is looking to pass immigration laws, they need to look at the economic impact of those decisions. We’re very disappointed, and we’re very concerned about what this means for Texas. I think it’s going to be very damaging to our state.”

Gus Reyes, Director, Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission:
“As people of faith, we pursue truth and grace. The truth is it’s the proper role of government to secure the borders and protect its citizens. But grace calls us to recognize that many live, work and pay taxes, without the appropriate documents. The immigration system is broken and needs revision to deal safely with our borders and compassionately with those without documents. We continue to pray for a better day, for justice and for the opportunity to show kindness and mercy to our neighbors regardless of their status.”

Jacinta Ma, Director of Policy and Advocacy, National Immigration Forum:
“Enforcement of immigration laws is, first and foremost, a federal responsibility. Federal law continues to apply in so-called sanctuary jurisdictions, and federal agents can enforce immigration laws in those jurisdictions. SB 4 is a counterproductive way to address immigration enforcement. Congress should provide clarity for states and act on constructive solutions to fix our immigration system that help America thrive.”