Hundreds protest anti-immigration bills in Austin
Immigrant advocates from all over Texas rallied at the Capitol Tuesday to decry what they called the 82nd Legislature’s assault on immigrant communities.
Dozens of community groups from as far as the Rio Grande Valley, El Paso and Houston marched to the steps of the Capitol, calling out lawmakers who have filed a litany of proposals that would crack down on undocumented immigrants in Texas.
Organizers with the Reform Immigration Texas Alliance estimated roughly 3,000 came out to protest. “I think there’s a passion in the belly of thousands of Texans, I think there’s a passion within the immigrant community to do something about all of this anti-immigrant legislation,” said Adriana Cadena, a RITA organizer.
Several Democratic lawmakers spoke at the Capitol steps to rally the students, military vets, religious leaders and countless other groups from across the state. Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, pushed his newly filed SB 600, which would keep local law enforcement from asking about the immigration status of a witness or victim of a crime.
Speaking before a crowd chanting “Si Se Puede,” Rodriguez said, “We’re in dire financial straights. …But despite this, the state’s leadership is focused on the wrong priority.”
“Instead of focusing on making Texas a better place to live for everyone, the governor’s emergency items attack Latinos and immigrant communities.”
During his speech, Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, said current Republican proposals would turn state and local law enforcement into “la migra,” and called the current Legislature “the most racist session of the Texas Legislature in a quarter of a century.”