Faith-Based Opposition to SB 4

Court briefs filed in support of cities' suit against state

Anti-SB 4 demonstrators staged a sit-in at Texas Governor Greg Abbott's office in May of 2017.
Anti-SB 4 demonstrators staged a sit-in at Texas Governor Greg Abbott's office in May of 2017. (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Religious leaders are standing firm against anti-immigrant Senate Bill 4, passed during the regular legislative session.

On Monday, July 31, Rev. Chuck Freeman of Austin’s Texas Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry; the Episcopal Diocese of Texas; a handful of other faith leaders; and Texas Impact, a statewide interfaith organization that includes Jewish, Christian, and Muslim members, filed court briefs in support of the Texas cities suing the state to stop the so-called “sanctuary cities” bill from taking effect on Sept. 1.

The briefs, prepared by local civil rights attorney Jim Harrington, argue that SB 4 would impose irreparable harm to families and faith communities and disrupt the religious lives of people in the immigrant community. The "Show Me Your Papers"-style law would allow racial profiling and hurt public safety by “creating a class of persons afraid to interact with law enforcement,” including victims and witnesses of crimes, the leaders note.

“SB 4 is contrary to the moral imperative that we love our neighbor, welcome the immigrant, and care for the most vulnerable among us,” said Rev. C. Andrew Doyle in a statement. “This law represents an anti-immigrant agenda that is born out of fear and promoted out of a sense of privilege, jeopardizing justice for everyone.” This special session Democrats Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, (SB 109 and SB 110) and Rep. Ramón Romero, D-Ft. Worth, (HB 53) attempted to repeal SB 4 with legislation – no bills have made it past committee yet.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Senate Bill 4, 85th Lege, Jim Harrington, Chuck Freeman, Sylvia Garcia, C. Andrew Doyle, Ramón Romero

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