SB 4

Mar 14, 2018
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Texas Tribune

After ruling on Texas' "sanctuary cities" law, opponents say they're down but not out

"Another option is for local governments to adopt or continue policies where being charged for an alleged misdemeanor doesn’t trigger automatic arrest, said Bob Libal, the executive director of Grassroots Leadership, an Austin-based immigrant rights and private-prison watchdog group.

'Local officials need to act swiftly to stop the arrest-to-deportation pipeline that will be accelerated by SB 4,' Libal said. 'They can start by enacting policies that end discretionary arrests while ensuring that scarce public resources are not wasted on unnecessary immigration enforcement actions that terrorize the immigrant community.'" Read more about After ruling on Texas' "sanctuary cities" law, opponents say they're down but not out

Feb 12, 2018
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The Patch

Battle Lines Drawn As Austin Considers Paid Sick Leave Mandate

"It is disappointing, despicable, and desperate that opponents of paid sick days would use immigrant families as a pawn to stop this policy," their statement reads. "As grassroots leaders that have been on the front lines in the fight against Texas' anti-immigrant SB 4, we find it disgusting that big industry associations, with a track record of exploiting undocumented labor, would falsely cite concern for undocumented workers as a talking point against a policy that is good for Austin working families." Read more about Battle Lines Drawn As Austin Considers Paid Sick Leave Mandate

Oct 20, 2017
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Austin Chronicle

Hernandez to ICE Reversal Critics: “This Is Not Over”

The Austin Chronicle interviewed Cristina Parker, communications director at Grassroots Leadership, on Sheriff Sally Hernandez's decision to reverse her policy on ICE detainers following the SB 4 injunction ruling. "'The ruling is unfortunately unclear,' said Parker. 'But as far as we're concerned, there's no reason [Hernandez] couldn't side with other legal minds. 'It's disappointing and damaging to the community that she would choose to go with one interpretation over another.' Read more about Hernandez to ICE Reversal Critics: “This Is Not Over”"
Oct 20, 2017
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The Patch

AG Sessions Touts Trump's Immigration Policies During Austin Visit

"Officials at Grassroots Leadership, a civil rights watchdog, also had harsh words against Sessions ahead of his visit. Officials there noted Sessions, in testimony before Congress on Oct. 18, threatened to strip federal funding from so-called 'sanctuary cities' seen as too welcoming of immigrants. 'We know that the real reason Sessions is coming is to defy the Austin community as we are fighting to ensure that Austin is a sanctuary city for all,' said Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership. 'Even as we continue to be attacked by Paxton, Abbott, and the Trump administration, we will show Sessions that he will not break us and we will resist any and all steps he takes against us. He is not welcome in our city.'" Read more about AG Sessions Touts Trump's Immigration Policies During Austin Visit
Sep 28, 2017
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LatinoUSA

Texas ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Case Ruling Gets Mixed Reactions

The ruling of the 5th Circuit Court on SB 4 "caused Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez... to change her policy and honor all immigration detention requests placed on inmates. Hernandez previously honored detainers when inmates were charged with murder, aggravated sexual assault or human trafficking while others were considered on a case-by-basis. 'As I have maintained throughout this process, I have not violated federal or state law, nor do I intend (to),' Hernandez told local media. 'Our policy has been updated to comply with the finding of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.' The decision is disappointing to immigration advocates in Texas who counted on Hernandez to stand with Democrats against a majority Republican state leadership on this divisive issue. 'It is massively disappointing for us to see our sheriff, who had such a strong stance on this, reverse her position,' said Cristina Parker, communications director for Grassroots Leadership. 'She got some bad information from [Texas Attorney General] Ken Paxton and other sources.' Penalties for violating SB4 include jail time and fines of up to $25,500 per day. Elected officials found in violation of the law could be forced out of office. Read more about Texas ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Case Ruling Gets Mixed Reactions"
Sep 25, 2017
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KUT 90.5

After Court Ruling, Travis County Will Comply With All ICE Detention Requests

In response to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' preliminary ruling on SB 4, Sheriff Sally Hernandez announced that she would change Travis County policy to honor all ICE detentions, countering her previous policy to limit ICE intervention in local jails. Grassroots Leadership executive director Bob Libal said, “Any policy changes that lead to deportations from Travis County have the potential to be deadly. We really need our elected officials to stand up now and fight legally and also through creative policies to reduce the number of deportations from our community.” Read more about After Court Ruling, Travis County Will Comply With All ICE Detention Requests
Sep 25, 2017
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The Patch

Federal Court Stays Texas SB 4 Law Compelling Local Law Enforcement To Cooperate With ICE

In response to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling on SB 4, local officials and activists commented on the court's ruling. Grassroots Leadership upholds that no matter the court ruling, we know the deadly consequences of ICE detainers, detention, and deportation. '"We won’t wait for the courts to tell us what we all know to be true: SB4 is nothing but an attack on immigrant communities,' Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership, said... In conveying the law's flaws, Muñoz referenced a recent case involving a young immigrant who had escaped the violence of his native Mexico only to be deported and promptly murdered upon his return by the very criminal gangs he fled. The chain of events leading to the death of Juan Coronilla-Guerrero began when ICE agents tracked his whereabouts to the Travis County Courthouse where he reported to a judge on a matter unrelated to his status." Read more about Federal Court Stays Texas SB 4 Law Compelling Local Law Enforcement To Cooperate With ICE

Aug 31, 2017
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The Austin-American Statesman

Paxton appeals order barring 'sanctuary cities' ban

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a notice of appeal Thursday to a federal court order that largely barred the controversial “sanctuary cities” banfrom taking effect Friday.

That filing came in rapid response to the injunction issued Wednesday evening by U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, who questioned the constitutionality of Senate Bill 4 and expressed concern over the law’s potential to make local authorities’ jobs more difficult by straining their relationships with their communities.

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“This injunction is a great victory for all Texans against a hateful bill put forward and signed by Greg Abbott,” said Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership. “We applaud our local officials for challenging this law, and call on all our local officials to renew resistance to anti-immigrant hate.” Read more about Paxton appeals order barring 'sanctuary cities' ban

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