April 27, 2017
Contacts: John Patrick,
Rick Levy or Ed Sills,
Texas AFL-CIO: Immigrant Working People Will Suffer Under SB 4, But So Will State as a Whole
In the wake of final Texas House approval of its version of SB 4, the so-called “sanctuary cities” bill, Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick issued this statement:
Approval of a harsh, “show me your papers”-style bill that drafts local criminal justice officials into becoming an arm of the federal immigration system marks one of the saddest days I have ever spent around the Texas Legislature.
This bill will harm all working people. Immigrants do some of the hardest jobs in our state and are net contributors not just to our economy but to our future. SB 4 will not only make it easier for unscrupulous employers to deny important workplace rights to immigrants, but will also undermine important labor standards for all workers.
SB 4 is also bad for our Brothers and Sisters in law enforcement who depend on the trust of those who live in the communities they police. That trust could become all but unobtainable under SB 4.
Worst of all, SB 4 will broadly discriminate against minorities in Texas, regardless of immigration status. It will increase the number of times American citizens are asked about their immigration status because of their appearance or language. By making mere detention, rather than arrest, the threshold for questioning immigration status, the law will ensnare people who are not even suspected of committing a crime.
We believe there is broad consensus that the U.S. immigration system is broken. But SB 4 will simply increase discrimination and hardship rather than point toward comprehensive immigration reform.
The Texas AFL-CIO is a state labor federation consisting of 237,000 affiliated union members who advocate for working families in Texas.