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Injustice In The Lone Star State: GOP's Bills Called Unconstitutional And Racist
The battle against white supremacy and unjust laws is ongoing in Texas.
Yesterday, the Texas House held its day of harm. It lasted for 18 hours. Emotions were high, and the worst legislation was voted on and passed to the next stage.
It’s hard to describe how vile and hateful the legislation passed yesterday and early this morning is. Texas Republicans have put a target on every brown person and every immigrant in this state. And they did it with big ass smiles on their face, like this:
All four bills passed were outrageous and likely will be declared unconstitutional in the courts unless they get a Trump judge.
HB4 - the “Show Me Your Papers” bill proves to be the white supremacist garbage we all thought it was.
HB4 gives any law enforcement officer in Texas the right to see the papers or verify the residency status of any person they come across. If that person cannot prove they are here legally, law enforcement can take them to a port of entry and demand they leave the country. If they don’t go, it’s a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years. To be clear, a police officer who has pulled someone over on the side of the road can determine their legal status and then personally drive them to the border. No courts or due process are involved.
Yes, this is unconstitutional. Yes, there will be a ton of lawsuits to stop this. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
Watch David Spiller lay out the bill to see how Republicans spin it:
Knowing how racist and vile this bill was, Republicans took a rarely-used legislative move to limit the debate on the bill. This sent Democrats into a rage, rightfully so. It was even suggested that this move was done illegitimately with the signatures of members who were not present. See that moment here:
After the cameras weren’t looking, Representative Ramos caught a heated Representative Walle confronting the Republicans on the sheer gall they had:
After the heated confrontation, they took almost a three-hour break. Then, they got to amendments for HB4.
Representative Josey Garcia introduced an amendment protecting women and children from HB4. Republicans voted against it.
Representative Vikki Goodwin introduced an amendment prohibiting school resource officers from targeting children under HB4. Republicans voted against it.
Representative Lulu Flores offered an amendment that would have prohibited law enforcement from targeting domestic violence shelters under HB4. Republicans voted against it.
Representative Gina Hinojosa offered an amendment that would have limited HB4 to border counties only. As the bill is written, any law enforcement officer in any county (Lubbock, Bowie, Harris, etc.) can stop a suspected undocumented immigrant and ask them for their papers. Republicans voted against it.
Representative Claudia Ordaz proposed an amendment that would have only allowed DPS officers to “see someone’s papers.” As the bill is written, any Barny Fife can stop a brown person and demand to verify their residency status. Republicans voted against it.
Representative Gene Wu proposed an amendment that would only allow law enforcement to take suspected undocumented immigrants to a reasonable port of entry. As the bill is written, law enforcement officers can take any suspected undocumented immigrant from any country (China, Uganda, Cuba, etc.) and push them over the bridge into Mexico. Republicans voted against it.
Representative Chris Turner provided an amendment that would have stated law enforcement hand suspected undocumented immigrants over to Homeland Security rather than drive them to the international bridge between Texas and Mexico. Republicans voted against it.
Representative John Bucy provided an amendment that would have ensured that law enforcement verified their legal status before driving a suspected undocumented immigrant to a port of entry. Republicans voted against it.
Representative Penny Morales Shaw presented an amendment that would have required law enforcement to have training on civil rights, racial sensitivity, and cultural diversity before allowing them to decide solely whether or not to deport every brown person they come across. Republicans voted against it.
Representative Josey Garcia presented an amendment that would have prohibited law enforcement from trying to expel asylum seekers. Republicans voted against it.
Representative Ana-Marie Ramos introduced an amendment that would have required law enforcement to provide written information regarding the suspected undocumented person’s arrest and deportation in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, German, and Arabic. Republicans voted against it.
Representative Armondo Walle introduced an amendment prohibiting law enforcement from arresting and trying to deport anyone under the age of 11. Republicans voted against it.
You get the point. Cruelty was the point. There were several other similar amendments. None of which passed.
At one point, Representative Tony Tinderholt offered an amendment that would have targeted and allowed law enforcement officers to deport DACA recipients. It was the only thing that Democrats were able to kill yesterday. The other Republicans who signed Tinderholt’s amendment were Brian Harrison, Nate Schatzline, and Steve Toth.
HB4 will likely be struck down in the court system, but there’s always a chance it could survive, ruining thousands of lives as the outcome.
This bill will be heard sometime next week in the Senate Border Security Committee, so there will be more testimony taken on this bill. The vast majority will be against it, but the Senate will pass it to anyone because they don’t work for us (the people). They work for the special interests and the billionaires.
Yesterday, the Texas House also advanced SB4, a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for anyone caught with an undocumented immigrant in their car. A cousin, a brother, a neighbor, a friend. All you have to do is give them a ride to the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment, and you’re looking at ten years in the pokey.
Here is part one of the debate:
This is another bill that feeds red meat to the Republican base right before a primary election that will likely be overturned in courts. Like with HB4, Democrats tried to add amendments that would soften the bill, family members within certain consanguinity, as part of human rights activities, or professionally like Uber or public transportation. Republicans voted against all of it.
At one point, Representative Ann Johnson confronted Ryan Guillen about the ties this legislation had to Neo-Nazis. Check it out:
When you look at these bills and the impact they’ll have on marginalized communities, you watch these debates and see the callousness of the Republicans and the intentional harm they mean to inflict. It’s hard to call this anything else but white supremacy.
Republicans are outnumbered, and they know it. Voter oppression has taken them so far that they don’t have a lot of wiggle room left. These bills target brown and Black young people and teenagers for mass incarceration.
They cannot get enough white conservatives to move here. They can’t stop their slip on power through voter suppression. So, they are targeting non-Anglo communities in any way they can. It’s about keeping themselves in power.
And the more that the demographic of white Republicans shrink in this state, the more racist they get.
Yesterday, Republicans also passed $1.5 billion for 50 more miles of Abbott’s racist wall.
According to Republicans, who finally admitted, only 11 miles have been built so far, which have already cost Texas taxpayers $1.6 billion. This bill has no transparency. Abbott can use these funds to build walls between Texas and other U.S. states, and we don’t know who the vendors are.
A study has never been done to show the effectiveness of walls, but we have all seen plenty of pictures and videos of ladders and tunnels under walls. It’s a waste of money when out of five children in Texas are hungry, and six million are uninsured.
More red meat for the base.
It’s so important to vote in every single election.
I’ll repeat it. We outnumber them. It’s past time Republicans got out of our government. There’s a constitutional election happening right now. Early voting ends on November 3. Election day is on November 7.
If you want to know more about what’s on the ballot and how to vote for these constitutional amendments, I’m endorsing the Mothers Against Greg Abbott voting guide for this election, and it will be the one I’m following.
Get mad. Stay mad. Turn it into action. Vote them all out.
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