“Texas deserves better:” Hundreds gather in Downtown Dallas to protest SB 4

One of the rally organizers told a crowd of hundreds of demonstrators that SB 4 was a “hateful, cruel and racist law.”

DALLAS — Dallas is hundreds of miles from the border, but Sunday downtown it was clear we have neighbors here at home who not only are not only angry about controversial immigration law SB 4, but also worried about what the law could mean for them.

“Injustice in the border is injustice in Dallas and there’s Latinx people everywhere,” Karyme Flores, one of the demonstrators at an anti-SB 4 rally told WFAA.

SB 4 refers to the Texas law that gives state law enforcement authorization to arrest migrants suspected of entering the US illegally. 

One of the rally organizers told a crowd of hundreds of demonstrators that SB 4 was a “hateful, cruel and racist law.”

The Supreme Court originally put SB 4 on hold, but earlier this week allowed it to take effect. It was the law of the land for about eight hours before an appeals court stopped it again. The rally downtown was put on by people who say they need it to stay that way. 

“Our lives are a game to these politicians,” Flores said.

“We’re standing up against them,” demonstrator Maria Arriaga added.

“It’s really all black and brown people who will be harmed by SB4,” demonstrator Sisi Encarnacion told WFAA. “This is a problem that affects all of us, and we should be fighting for the humane treatment of everybody.”

In two hours’ worth of passionate chanting, speeches and marching, the demonstrators argued SB 4 is unconstitutional, creates fear among immigrant communities and encourages racial profiling. 

“My mom’s an immigrant, my dad’s an immigrant,” Arriaga said. “And they’re just scared to come outside because of fear of the law.”

“It really sucks that people’s lives are in the decision of people who don’t know what it’s like or don’t have our life experiences,” Flores added. “Our community deserves better, eagle pass deserves better, Texas deserves better.”

There are of course people who support SB 4 as well. State Rep. David Spiller among them. The Republican from Jacksboro wrote the House version of the bill and told WFAA Tuesday the law’s been intentionally misrepresented.

“We’re not going out and trying to round up people, round up someone’s grandmother that’s been here 50 years, ” he said. “This is a misdemeanor charge and the statute of limitation for misdemeanors is two years. Even the two-year time period is not going to be that relevant because a law enforcement officer is going to have to see, observe or otherwise know where someone crossed illegally, when they did it, who did it, where they did hit, how they did it.”

SB 4 remains on hold after that order by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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