Walle moderates SB4 “Know Your Rights” Forum

Senate Bill may take effect by March 5

EAST ALDINE – About 50 persons interested in the legal and safety aspects of the new Border law SB4, met last Thursday evening at the East Aldine District headquarters to hear a presentation by several groups involved in helping immigrants to this country.

The meeting was hosted by State Representative Armando Walle, who has been a vocal critic of the new law. He has stated that it is discriminatory, will lead to racial profiling, and cause hardships to families such as his that are split between members with citizenship and those who are not citizens, but traveling legally across borders.

Helping present information on the subject were representatives from several organizations, namely Sarah Cruz of the ACLU, Kevin of the Workers Defense Fund, and Cesar Espinoza of F.I.E.L.

In addition, attorney Juan Aguirre was present to give an example of a court hearing on immigration status, and what transpires when a person is detained custody by officials.

She spoke to rights that everyone has by the Constitution, including refusal to unreasonable search of car or home; and the right not to answer questions other than name, drivers license, date of birth, and insurance information.

Cruz said that immigrants can defend against prosecution for illegal entry with 3 reasons: lawful entry; seeking asylum; and DACA status. However, there is No defense for Reentry, and heavy jail sentences could be issued.

She mentioned that immigration enforcement is not allowed in public schools, churches, and healthcare facilities.

Representative Walle pointed out that there is no official training for officers or magistrates on how to enforce SB4. He added that most law enforcement officers don’t want the extra work of immigration enforcement in addition to their other duties.

A hearing was held in Texas courts on February 15 regarding the legallity and scope of SB4, and a ruling has not yet been issued. It is possible that some or all of SB4 will be limited, but as of now the law is scheduled to go into affect March 5th.