Things That Matter

John Leguizamo Calls On Latino Celebs To Boycott Texas Because Of New Anti-Immigrant Law

On May 4, the governor of Texas signed SB 4, a new law that would require local law enforcement to follow federal procedures concerning undocumented people — essentially deputizing them as ICE agents. Now, some are calling for a boycott of the state.

The law, which allows local police to stop people without probable cause, theoretically allows officers to racially profile Latinos and ask them for documentation. It also increases the penalties for “harboring” an undocumented person.

The ACLU has even issued a State Department-like travel advisory to the state. The law takes effect on Sept. 1.

“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,” Lorella Praeli, ACLU director of immigration policy and campaigns said in a released statement. “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.”

Actor John Leguizamo tweeted that he is canceling his tour in Texas. He also called on other celebrities to boycott the state.

CREDIT: JohnLeguizamo / Twitter
CREDIT: JohnLeguizamo / Twitter

200 Texas faith leaders also condemned the governor of Texas for signing this anti-immigrant law. Here’s an excerpt of the letter that they sent Abbot:

“Dear Governor Abbott,

As faith leaders from many different traditions, we write to condemn the anti-immigrant legislation you signed into law that will target and discriminate against our immigrant neighbors. As people of faith, we look first to our common values rooted in our sacred texts that remind us to love our neighbor and welcome the sojourner among us. As Leviticus 19:34 (CE) reminds us: ‘Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens. You must love them as yourself, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.'”

You can read the entire letter here.

El Cenizo, a southern Texas town with a 99 percent Latino population, has already filed a lawsuit against the governor and the state.

The suit, filed with the help of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), states:

“The complaint which was filed by the League of United Latin American Citizens against the State of Texas and key government officials seeks declaratory and injunctive relief from the courts to stop the state from discriminating against individuals based solely on the color of their skin. The complaint, which was the first to be filed by a civil rights organization in response to the signing of SB 4, maintains that SB 4 violates the U.S. Constitution. The statute seeks to extend local law enforcement into a field preempted by federal law. Specifically, SB 4 impermissibly extends immigration enforcement to local officials by forcing local government entities to cooperate with immigration enforcement efforts in a way that violates federal law both constitutionally and statutorily. In addition to the statute being unconstitutional, it is bad policy. SB 4 will promote distrust between local law enforcement and the community at large.”

Local law enforcement are also against SB4, so it appears the battle has just begun.

READ: Interrogation Of Undocumented Minors And “Baby Prisons” To Become A Reality Thanks To Texas Bill

Do you think boycotting Texas is a good idea? Let us know by sharing this story and commenting in the section below! 

Military Suspect In Vanessa Guillen’s Disappearance Commits Suicide

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Military Suspect In Vanessa Guillen’s Disappearance Commits Suicide

Anthony Smith / Getty Images

The search for Vanessa Guillen has ended after human remains were identified as the missing soldier. An investigation into the crime has led to suspects being identified and arrested. Here’s what we know so far.

A soldier, who was a suspect in Vanessa Guillen’s death, committed suicide Wednesday.

Human remains were discovered Tuesday and identified as Vanessa Guillen on Wednesday. The suspects in Guillen’s death have not been named but one of the suspects committed suicide on Wednesday morning. The military suspect shot himself while law enforcement was searching for him.

Tim Miller, the founder of Texas Equusearch, told the Houston Chronicle that he believes the military suspect killed himself at 1:30 a.m. local time. The military suspect, who was in Killeen, Texas, committed suicide shortly after human remains were discovered near the Leon River in Bell County, Texas.

Guillen’s family have expressed their grief at press conferences since the body was identified.

The family is demanding justice. One civilian suspect is currently in jail after being arrested in connection with Guillen’s death. One of Guillen’s sisters recognized the military suspect. Mayra Guillen told the press that she met the military suspect who committed suicide.

“At approximately 1:29 a.m., officers located the suspect in the 4700 block of East Rancier Avenue,” reads the statement from the Killeen Police Department website. “As officers attempted to make contact with the suspect, the suspect displayed a weapon and discharged it towards himself.  The suspect succumbed from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

The suspects have not been identified, however, we do have descriptions of the suspects.

“The person who took his own life earlier today in Killeen after being sought by Killeen police and federal marshals was a soldier from Fort Hood and had fled the base earlier in the day,” reads a statement by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. “A civilian has been arrested in connection with Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance. The civilian suspect is the estranged wife of a former Fort Hood Soldier and is currently in custody in the Bell County Jail awaiting charges by civilian authorities.”

The case has captivated the nation as some people hurt for the family.

The investigation into Vanessa Guillen’s death is still ongoing. There are no answers yet but her family alleges that Guillen was coming forward with sexual assault and harassment allegations. The family’s recounting of Guillen’s sexual assault allegations is renewing the conversation of sexual assault in the military.

The family is calling out Fort Hood and the military’s response to the disappearance of Guillen. According to the family, they have been pleading with Fort Hood and the U.S. Army to conduct an investigation but saw nothing happening.

READ: Partial Human Remains Found Near Fort Hood Likely Vanessa Guillen’s

#TheWorldReopenedAnd Is Highlighting All The Ways We Are Failing In Our Response To COVID-19

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#TheWorldReopenedAnd Is Highlighting All The Ways We Are Failing In Our Response To COVID-19

Kevin Dietsch-Pool / Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic is still spreading across the U.S. with several states seeing significant spikes. Globally, some regions and countries have had to reinstitute lockdowns and travel bans to tamp down outbreaks. After almost four months of isolating and staying home, people are being allowed back out with restrictions and it isn’t going super great.

Twitter users let their feelings be known about the recent reopings using #TheWorldReopenedAnd.

There is a big debate raging in the U.S. about the use of facial masks. At some point, the facial mask was politicized leading to people on the right claiming that the mask violates their rights. Meanwhile, health experts around the world have stated that wearing facial masks is the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19.

There are a lot of people on social media who just don’t trust the general public right now.

With some states and cities reopening, the cases have started to once again spike in the U.S. California, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and Florida has seen spikes great enough to start rolling back some of the reopenings that have happened in their states. The most common places reclosed are bars and nightclubs. Bars and nightclubs are considered as dangerous for COVID-19 spread as gyms.

The numbers are all trending poorly for a majority of states.

According to The New York Times, new coronavirus cases are increasing in 35 states. Some of the worst spikes are coming from states that have rushed reopenings ahead of their previous plans. The U.S. recorded more than 45,000 new cases on June 26 and more than 39,000 on June 30.

As the country reevaluates its reopening, without a national plan in place, Americans favor science leading the charge.

According to a poll by The New York Times, a majority of voters trust medical experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over President Donald Trump when it comes to the coronavirus. Eighty-four percent of all voters surveyed by The New York Times said they trust medical experts when it comes to information on COVID-19. Alternately, 26 percent of voters trust President Trump for information. The numbers show an overlap in those who trust both medical experts and President Trump. Support for President ran on part lines as 66 percent of Republican voters trusted President Trump while 4 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of Independents trust President Trump.

On a different note, some people are convinced that the end of the quarantine released an eager populations of Karens loose.

As the lockdowns have eased, there have been more social media videos of people acting out. How are you feeling about the current reopenings?

READ: Court Orders ICE To Release Children In Their Custody As COVID-19 Tears Through Detention Centers