As Gov. Abbott Signs Senate Bill 4 Encouraging Racial Profiling, Texas Freedom Network Condemns the Continued Criminalization of Our Border Communities

December 18, 2023

CONTACT: Emily Witt (she/her), [email protected]

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Governor Greg Abbott today signed Senate Bill 4, which allows law enforcement to remove undocumented people from the state and take them to a port of entry.

People found guilty of violating the law have no possibility of parole, community supervision, or mandatory supervision as an alternative sentence, even if there’s a federal case pending to determine their immigration status.

Advocates have widely criticized the bill for its encouragement of racial profiling, likelihood of increasing family separation, and lack of law enforcement accountability.

Texas Freedom Network Director of Communications Imelda Mejia (she/her) issued the following response:

“In yet another attack on our people and flourishing border communities, Governor Abbott has weaponized Texas law enforcement to carry out his xenophobic, hateful agenda by signing Senate Bill 4. This piece of legislation will undoubtedly increase the level of racial profiling happening not only in our border communities but across Texas. Instead of using their power to protect us, Texas leaders have chosen again to criminalize people, separate families, and subject Texans to the dangers posed by over-policing.

“While the law exposes our communities to needless violence and discrimination, it simultaneously demonstrates a gross overreach of state power. Texas Freedom Network is committed to defending the freedom and safety of all Texans regardless of immigration status, and we condemn this authoritarian, unjust bill. We call upon all Texans to remain in solidarity with our thriving undocumented neighbors and border communities, and we will never forget Governor Abbott’s choice to perpetuate hate in our state.”

Last month, a report by Human Rights Watch found that high-speed chases connected to immigration enforcement had caused 74 deaths in Texas since the launch of Operation Lonestar in March 2021.