Texas: Christian Fascist Governor Tightens Clampdown on Immigrants

May 8, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


On May 7 Texas governor Greg Abbott, a Christian fascist, signed the viciously anti-immigrant Senate Bill 4 (SB4) into law. He signed it Sunday evening on Facebook live, without any prior announcement or even notification to news outlets, in order to avoid protests. Both bodies of the Texas legislature—also dominated by Christian fascists—had overwhelmingly approved SB4 earlier in the week.

Banning “Sanctuary Cities”

Soon after his election Donald Trump issued an executive order that threatened to strip federal funds from sanctuary cities—cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. That order has been placed on hold by a court ruling. Now SB4 is the first law to make it mandatory for all police agencies in a state to obey U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers—orders that a person jailed or detained for whatever reason be held until federal authorities check the person’s immigration status. Immediately after signing the law, Abbot declared that “Texas has now banned sanctuary cities.”

Who are the people targeted for deportation during the first 100 days of the Trump/Pence regime? They are people like Sara Beltran-Hernandez, a 26-year-old mother of two who police bound hand and foot and removed from Huguley Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, where she was awaiting surgery for a brain tumor. They are people like 31-year-old Jose Escobar, arrested when he reported to immigration officials in Houston for his annual check in, and deported to Honduras, a country he hadn’t seen since his mother took him to the U.S. when he was 15.

Both Sara Beltran-Hernandez and Jose Escobar came to the U.S. as children and now have children of their own, who are U.S. citizens. For each person picked up and deported in these kind of arrests and ICE raids that are being carried out, countless others are also devastated. Parents who have worked for years to keep their families together vanish in an instant. Children don’t know why their father or mother suddenly disappeared. Siblings are torn apart. Multiply that by millions, to get a sense of the depth, and the breadth, of the agony fascist measures like SB4 will inflict.

Terrible Crimes—Against Immigrants

Abbott and the other Republican Christian fascists running Texas say SB4 will “help make Texas communities safer” and is aimed at people who commit “terrible crimes.” This is not just a lie but a complete reversal of the truth. Terrible crimes are in fact committed against immigrants.

Millions of people in Mexico and Central America have been forced to flee their homelands because of the devastation wreaked by U.S. domination—over decades. They have been forced off their land and out of rural villages. Many have fled to cities, and then have been caught in a cross-fire between criminal gangs and equally criminal police. Millions have been impoverished and denied the ability to make anything but the most meager of livings. Thousands of immigrants and refugees have died crossing hundreds of miles of harsh terrain. Last week the New York Times reported that in Brooks County, Texas, alone, “bodies and remains” of more than 500 migrants who died while trying to make the border crossing have been found since 2009. Millions have been rounded up deported back to the U.S.-created hell they fled. Millions, including children, have been separated from their families. All these immigrants Trump and Abbott call “illegal” live with the constant threat of deportation—any chance encounter can turn their lives upside down in an instant.

Driving immigrants out of the country, and persecuting and demonizing those who somehow remain, is central to the agenda of the Trump/Pence fascist regime and their accomplices like the Christian fascists in Texas. Protests against SB4 have begun in Houston and Austin. More are planned, and lawsuits to stop it will be filed. This is positive.

But the Trump/Pence regime and other fascists will not turn away from their war on immigrants. Defeating their escalating and systematic attacks on immigrants is central to taking on their whole fascist agenda, and driving them from power.



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