WATCH LIVE: Activist urges City Council to join SB4 Bill after being threatened by Sheriff’s deputies.
Posted by CW39 on Friday, June 23, 2017
Senate Bill 4 isn’t even in effect and some Texas police are allegedly asking about immigration status.
Victor Ibarra was on his way to protest Senate Bill 4, a law recently passed by the Texas legislators, when he was involved in a minor traffic accident. Many immigration activists believe SB4, which was sold to the public as a crackdown on sanctuary cities, is little more than a version of Arizona’s “show me your papers” law. People have argued that the law gives police officers the right to racially profile people to ask them about their immigration status when they are dealing with law enforcement. That’s exactly what happened, according to Ibarra.
According to Houston Press, Ibarra told reporters that he was on his way to an SB4 protest when he was involved in an accident. Police officers were called and when they arrived, they asked for Ibarra’s driver’s license, which he did not have. Instead, Ibarra said in a press conference that he handed the officer his Mexican passport and his consular identification card (matrícula consular). According to the National Immigration Law Center, a matrícula consular “is an identity card that Mexican consulates issue to Mexican citizens who reside outside Mexico.” It is basically just a way for Mexican nationals to identify themselves while living abroad.
During the encounter, Ibarra claims the officer began to ask about his immigration status after seeing his consular identification card. Ibarra told the press, according to CW39, that he did not want to answer that question without an attorney present, but the officer kept pressuring him. When Ibarra continued to refuse to answer the question, he claims that the police officer then threatened to call ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to come to the scene and deal with him.
Houston Press reports that Harris County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation into Ibarra’s claims. SB4 is set to go into effect on Sept. 1.