Lawmakers in Texas’ House of Representatives passed SB 4 on Wednesday, a bill that if signed by the Governor, would require local law enforcement to participate in Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This “sanctuary cities” ban is a huge problem for immigrant communities in Texas. The bill would allow for local law enforcement to ask about a person’s immigration status during an arrest or “lawful detention” like a traffic stop. It would also cause even more fear and distrust for immigrant victims of crimes who seek help from law enforcement, especially in cases of domestic violence.
Additionally, local reproductive justice advocates say the bill would be devastating for immigrant women seeking abortion services. The fear and isolation that SB4 causes would make accessing healthcare even more difficult. People are afraid to access service in case they are stopped on their way to a clinic. Since countless clinics were forced to close due to other restrictive legislation, many women in Texas do not live near a clinic and must travel several hours to reach a somewhere that offers abortion services. Some women must pass immigration check points to get to the nearest clinic. For many women, the added burden of SB 4 is prohibitive to accessing the healthcare they deserve.
As reproductive healthcare providers we must also fight for immigrant justice. We demand that our patients who often face fear and stigma due to their immigration status receive care here without the fear of deportation for themselves or their families.
Read more about SB 4 and the response from Texas reproductive justice advocates HERE.
Find more beautiful reproductive justice art work at: http://www.repealhydeartproject.org/