The American Civil Liberties Union is has issued a “travel warning” for residents and visitors to the great state of Texas. It’s a bit of a dig at the Trump Administration, as the State Department issues these types of warnings to make U.S. citizens aware of potential problems, like crime, violence, and terrorism, in certain parts of the world.
The ACLU issued their travel warning to let citizens know their constitutional rights could be violated if they visit Texas.
— ACLU National (@ACLU) May 9, 2017
The ACLU’s warning comes days after Texas passed SB4, a law which grants officials the authority to check a person’s immigration status “without probable cause.” In 2010, a similar law, SB 1070, was passed in Arizona, which critics said legalized racial profiling, as it appeared to target mainly Latinos, both legal and undocumented.
The ACLU listed many of the potentially unconstitutional hazards residents and tourists may encounter in Texas.
Inbox: ACLU issues travel advisory to Texas pic.twitter.com/rLR1ezWlyj
— Lindsay Ellis (@lindsayaellis) May 9, 2017
“The law gives a green light to police officers in the state to investigate a person’s immigration status during a routine traffic stop, leading to widespread racial profiling, baseless scrutiny, and illegal arrests of citizens and non-citizens alike presumed to be “foreign” based on how they look or sound. The travel alert applies to all travelers to Texas, including U.S. travelers from other states and U.S. citizens. In addition, this alert applies to all encounters with federal, state, county law enforcement including local police and sheriffs.”
An ACLU official released a statement about their decision to release the warning.
— ANTONIO ARELLANO (@AntonioArellano) May 9, 2017
Director of immigration policy and campaigns ACLU Lorella Praeli said:
The ACLU’s goal is to protect all Texans and all people traveling through Texas — regardless of their immigration status — from illegal harassment by law enforcement. Texas is a state with deep Mexican roots and home to immigrants from all walks of life. Many of us fit the racial profile that the police in Texas will use to enforce Trump’s draconian deportation force.
Everyone has constitutional rights in this country. The state of Texas, and every law enforcement officer, must respect those rights. The ACLU stands ready to safeguard those freedoms against those who seek to diminish them.
The executive director of the ACLU warned that Texas could become a “show me your papers” state.
— Astrid Dominguez (@astridalheli) May 8, 2017
On the ACLU’s website, executive director Terri Burke said:
We plan to fight this racist and wrongheaded law in the courts and in the streets. Until we defeat it, everyone traveling in or to Texas needs to be aware of what’s in store for them. The Lone Star State will become a ‘show me your papers’ state, where every interaction with law enforcement can become a citizenship interrogation and potentially an illegal arrest.
SB4 mandates that authorities must help with ICE related detainer requests, potentially placing their authority at odds with the constitution.
It is simply a matter of time before illegal arrests occur. Local law enforcement will have to decide between violating a person’s rights and being severely fined, thrown in jail, or even being removed from office for choosing not to do so.
Read the entire warning at the ACLU’s official website.