Valdez-Cox: We Will Hold Local Law Enforcement Accountable

San Juan, TX — With news that 23 RGV law enforcement officials signed on to Governor Abbott’s weekend op-ed on SB4, Juanita Valdez-Cox, LUPE’s Executive Director, issued the following statement:

juanitaWhile many law enforcement entities across the state have denounced this hateful SB4 “Show me your Papers” law, we are disappointed and concerned that 23 police chiefs and Hidalgo County Sheriff Guerra, instead of standing firm with the South Texas community, have sided with the governor’s view on SB4. They intentionally do not explain that lawful detention includes routine traffic stops and stop-and-frisk encounters with police. If you’ve been stopped for a broken tail light or jaywalking, you’ve been lawfully detained and under SB4 you could be asked for your papers.

The perception that they have given the community is that they agree with Governor Abbott and his SB4 “Show Me Your Papers” law. This act adds fear to community residents because the reputation of the governor is that of not being a friend of the immigrant community. As a measure to ensure against abuse from SB4, LUPE will be implementing a community watch program that will train community leaders to document any abuse by local law enforcement agencies.

La Union del Pueblo Entero will also continue with a lawsuit against the State of Texas because we cannot understand and we will not tolerate the basic premise of this hateful law. We must not allow our local law enforcement to be willing participants in the business of deportations. The reality is that our communities are safer when more of us have access to due process and equal justice. We believe in an America in which all of us, no matter skin tone, place of birth, or what we have in our past, is viewed as fully human, with dignity and value as part of our nation.

SB4 was not needed and if this law goes into effect, the community will hold our local law enforcement accountable by documenting abuses and filing civil rights violations against any peace officers that violate our rights. In order to defeat SB4, we need the support from the community. All people of conscience should contact their city and county elected officials and ask them to bring or join legal challenges against SB4.

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