LULAC DENOUNCES TEXAS GOVERNOR'S GRANDSTANDING OVER NEW CONTROVERSIAL BORDER SECURITY LEGISLATION

Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Calls the Signing Ceremony a Political Stunt at the Expense of Taxpayers and Refugees

December 18, 2023
Contact David Cruz - (818) 689-9991
davidcruz@lulac.org

Washington, DC - LULAC strongly condemns Texas Governor Greg Abbott's scheduled signing Monday of new, so-called border security laws. In a scathing statement, LULAC accuses the Governor and his legislative allies of prioritizing political gains over the welfare of vulnerable migrant populations, particularly women and child refugees.

"LULAC denounces in the strongest terms possible the actions in Brownsville today of Governor Greg Abbott and his supporters in the Texas Legislature," says Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. "These individuals are determined to weaponize their legislative power for political gain at the expense of human beings. Instead of working with Democrats in the Texas Legislature on a genuine solution, so-called Republican Christians are hypocritically turning their backs on the defenseless and aiding drug cartels and human smugglers profiting from the desperation of men, women, and children," says Garcia.

Senate Bill 4 (SB4) is at the center of this controversy, a legislation that would make it a state crime to cross the Texas-Mexico border between ports of entry. If a police officer has probable cause to believe a person crossed the Rio Grande, that person could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, carrying a punishment of up to six months in jail. If the person has been previously convicted of entering Texas illegally under SB4, the charge could be increased to a second-degree felony, which carries a punishment of two to 20 years in prison.

LULAC characterizes the scheduled signing ceremony Monday afternoon as mere political theater. "The Texas leadership has wasted precious time and effort they could have used to seek true bilateral solutions. It is easier to cast blame for momentary publicity than to engage in the harder work of responsible governance in the best long-term interest of the state of Texas. LULAC continues to stand ready to work with any state and our nation's leadership in Congress to achieve critical comprehensive immigration reform," adds Guzman.

The bill allows a judge to drop charges if a migrant agrees to return to Mexico. If convicted and having served their sentence, a judge would be required to issue an order for police to transport them to a port of entry — facing a felony charge for refusing to return to Mexico. Police are allowed to turn over migrant families to Border Patrol agents.

Ray Mancera, LULAC National Vice President for the Southwest, emphasizes that the organization monitors conditions along the US-Mexico border. "LULAC is aware of the situation all along the US-Mexico border. We reiterate our call for an economic strategy to solve the unprecedented migration into the United States. Anything less than that is simply placing a band-aid over a deep and severe wound of human despair that will only get worse," says Mancera.

LULAC urges a shift towards a comprehensive economic strategy to address migration issues, emphasizing the need for cooperation rather than divisive state-level actions. The organization remains committed to working collaboratively with states and Congress to achieve comprehensive immigration reform that aligns with the nation's best interests.

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About LULAC

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation's largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC's programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting the critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/