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Texas Republicans propose ‘Show me your papers’ law, racially profile Chicanos and others

By Fabian Van Onzin |
March 27, 2015
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Houston protest against racist, anti immigrant legislation
Houston protest against racist, anti immigrant legislation (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Houston, TX - Republicans in the Texas State Legislature introduced a new set of senate bills, SB 3 and SB 185, demonizing the immigrant community and racially profiling Chicanos, Mexicanos and others. SB 185 is strikingly similar to the racist SB 1070 in Arizona.

The difference is the bill “allows” instead of “requires” the police to ask anyone who ‘looks undocumented’ for identification. While the racial profiling appears voluntary, police departments that do not racially profile can have their funding cut by the Texas Attorney General. It is an unusual and one-of-a-kind bill.

"With SB 185, police will be checking students at high school and college campuses about their immigration status. This harassment of Chicano and Mexicano students at school by the police undermines their education. The Republican legislation legalizes racial profiling and creates a climate of fear and anxiety in the very large Chicano/Mexicano communities of Texas,” said Victor Ibarra, with the Frente Interdependiente de Latinos Unidos (FILU).

The Houston Police Officers Union endorsed these bills and offered material support to a Republican lobbying campaign to get the bills passed. The police union is one of the most racist and xenophobic organizations in Houston. They consistently defend racist police actions, including police guilty of murder.

On March 25, over 100 people from a number of immigrant rights groups gathered outside of the police union’s headquarters to protest their endorsement and to pressure them to revoke their support. Organizers, in a prearranged meeting, entered the office of the union to meet with police union representatives and were immediately threatened with arrest. The police union president backed out and refused to meet and talk.

The protest continued outside on the sidewalk for three hours. People chanted, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, white supremacy has got to go!" The police union leaders could be seen inside of their building, laughing and making rude gestures. It was clear to everyone that the police are not on the side of the people, but work for big business and the rich.

If the Texas state legislature passes these new racist laws, it is certain the immigrant rights movement will call more protests all across Texas.

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