SB 4

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

Jul 1, 2017
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KVUE

Hays County man released after ICE detainer issue

What started out as a traffic stop and an ICE detainer issue ended with a Hays County father reunited with his family after hundreds protested for his release.

A rally held was outside the Hays County Sheriff's Department Saturday morning in efforts to free Martin Guerrero. He was pulled over Thursday, June 29, for rolling through a stop sign. When the officer learned that Guerrero had no driver's license, only a Mexico ID, he was arrested.

“I have neighbors who have been stopped, were asked for an ID, did not have one and were not arrested, weren’t even given a citation,” his daughter Alicia Guerrero said.

Plans were made to transfer him to an ICE detention center Sunday morning.

Protestors stood outside the jail Saturday afternoon, demanding for his release after a Hays County Judge had already waived his bond.

Hours later, the ICE hold was dropped, Guerrero received a warning, and he was let go.

His family says they are "thankful beyond belief."

Still, the community says they continue to live in fear as Sept 1 approaches, putting the "show me your papers" bill into law.

"Unfortunately many sheriffs in Texas do honor these requests, but they don't have to. Not only does it have the impact of breaking up families and communities, it also has an impact of putting the county at risk for being sued,” Grassroots Leadership Executive Director Bob Libal said.

Last week, two court hearings took place in San Antonio and here in Austin to discuss the constitutionality of SB4, and if it's appropriate for the State to file a case on a law that hasn't gone into effect yet, and therefore hasn't been violated. Read more about Hays County man released after ICE detainer issue

May 7, 2017
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The Austin Chronicle

Abbott Signs "Sanctuary Cities" Bill into Law

Without warning Sunday evening, Gov. Greg Abbott signed the anti-immigrant Senate Bill 4 into law.

Offering no notice to media until after he signed the bill, Abbott only issued a press release and a video of himself via Facebook defending the legislation that attacks so-called “sanctuary cities." (The term carries no legal definition but refers to, in the eyes of Abbott, any municipality that isn't acting in lockstep with federal immigration policy.) The clandestine move assured no major citizen-led protests or demonstrations – like the all day sit-in at his offices last week – would prevent the governor from ushering the “Show Me Your Papers” bill into law.

"It seems fitting that Greg Abbott would sign this disgraceful bill on the internet on a Sunday night, far from the press and the public,” said Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership. “But we will not be bullied by this law. Communities across the state are vowing that the resistance to SB 4 is only just beginning."

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SB 4 imposes civil and criminal penalties on law enforcement leaders who fail to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests and allows police to inquire about immigration status of those that they detain. The law also allows the removal of any elected or appointed official who does not comply with the law. Two weeks ago the Texas House held a 16-hour debate on SB 4, where Democrats sought unsuccessfully to soften the extreme piece of legislation, before sending it to the Senate for final approval. The bill is often cited as racist and unconstitutional, and stood as one of Abbott’s major legislative priorities this session. Barring a court challenge, SB 4 will become law Sept. 1. Read more about Abbott Signs "Sanctuary Cities" Bill into Law

May 7, 2017
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The Austin American Statesman

Dozens protest law banning sanctuary cities at Governor's Mansion

About 100 people gathered in protest outside the Governor’s Mansion Sunday night after Gov. Greg Abbott on Facebook Live signed into law a controversial bill that will ban so-called “sanctuary cities,” where officials decline to enforce federal immigration policies.

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Protestors carried banners and balloons and lit candles, vowing to defeat the law, which will impose penalties on law enforcement officials who do not comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement policies.

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Representatives from the United We Dream national nonprofit, the University Leadership Initiative, Grassroots Leadership and the Workers Defense Project are all in attendance at protests Sunday night.

Abbott’s office gave little advance warning of the highly anticipated signing, which ensured that protesters could not disrupt it.

The five-minute Facebook Live video had been viewed tens of thousands of times as of Sunday evening. Read more about Dozens protest law banning sanctuary cities at Governor's Mansion

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