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Wednesday, May 03, 2017

SB4, “Show-Me-Your-Papers Bill," Further Harms Victims of Sexual and Domestic Abuse

From the desk of Austin State Rep. Gina Hinojosa.  Her bulletin makes reference to a pertinent April 30, 2017 piece authored by Jennifer Medina in the New York Times titled,  Too Scared to Report Sexual Abuse. The Fear: Deportation.
Key quote from Gina's bulletin:  
"It is not surprising that President Trump, Governor Abbot, and the Freedom Caucus have advocated for anti-immigrant policies impacting Texans; what is surprising is that the Texas House Republicans as a whole followed their lead."
It's sad that House Republicans failed to take the high road.  We need to vote them out for sponsoring hate in Texas.
Angela Valenzuela

 


New York Times article this weekend highlighted the Austin-based organization Stop Abuse for Everyone, which provides forensic exams for sexual assault survivors.  This organization’s Chief Executive said there is a marked decline in rape victims reporting crimes from among their largely Latino immigrant clientele.  The article chronicles the same trend in cities across the country where victims of domestic and sexual abuse in the immigrant community have become more reluctant to report crimes as a result of Trump administration anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric.  With the passage of SB4, the “anti-sanctuary cities” bill, the Texas House of Representatives just made matters worse.  

House Republicans killed amendments to carve out safe havens for victims of domestic and sexual abuse, and students on college campuses. Perhaps worst of all, they added a “show me your papers” amendment by Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Matt Shaefer allowing law enforcement officers to interrogate an individual about their immigration status during routine traffic stops or simple lawful detentions. This will make life more difficult for all immigrants and especially those who are most vulnerable. It is not surprising that President Trump, Governor Abbot, and the Freedom Caucus have advocated for anti-immigrant policies impacting Texans; what is surprising is that the Texas House Republicans as a whole followed their lead. 


We now rival Arizona, which passed a similar “show me your papers law” 
in 2010, as the U.S. capitol of discrimination and hate against its own residents.   
By excluding amendments that would have protected women, children, and families, and 
by accepting the harmful Shaefer Amendment, the House Republicans have torn at the 
social fabric of our communities, families, and schools, threatening to tear at the fabric of 
Texas as a whole.  I will continue to fight against anti-immigrant legislation this session, 
and work to minimize the negative impact of SB4 if signed into law. 
Please look for upcoming action alerts on immigration and other issues from our office, 
and please follow me on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you receive the most current 
updates on issues through the rest of the session.   




Rep. Gina Hinojosa

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