“All those in favor say ‘aye’. Motion passage!” said La Joya Mayor Jose “Fito” Salinas to a packed room of Hispanics against Texas’ Sanctuary City Law. In a special city council meeting, city commissioners voted unanimously to join existing litigation filed by Austin to repeal the Republican based law, becoming the first city in south Texas to do so.
Austin, El Paso County, Maverick County, and border city El Cenizo have all sued the state over the law that gives any licensed peace officer the authority to ask for immigration documentation under lawful detention. Currently law allows police to ask once a person has been charged. Because of an amendment in the law, critics have dubbed it the “Show Me Your Papers” law similar to the highly controversial law in Arizona. Hispanic lawmakers argue the language opens the door for racial profiling and violates civil liberties.
As a special session on Thursday the crowd chanted, “Si Se Puede! Si Se Puede!” The phrase is a rallying cry made famous by the United Farm Workers lead by Cesar Chavez in the early 1970s.
With more than 90% of the population in Mayor Salinas’ city Hispanic, the lawsuit isn’t just political, he feels it is a personal attack on people of color, “leave us alone come and help us. Don’t destroy us.”
La Joya City Attorney Robert Jackson said exclusively to News Center 23 by joining the fight, it helps the cause, “We are at the front lines of the immigration debates. We are right next to the Border. Us joining them would add some credence to their arguments, given the fact that this is primarily a Hispanic community.”
Mayor Salinas hopes surrounding cities will follow, “Let the stick our heads out there let’s work for our people let’s do something for them and this is the things that we need to…Let’s get united. Let move forward let’s be a united Rio Grande Valley”
Attached is the Resolution 2017-11 City Council Voted, the resolution cites the law creates “silent victims and eliminate the potential for assistance from immigrants in solving crimes or preventing future terroristic acts;”