Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Proposed deportations would harm Texas families

Chelsea Purgahn

We no longer want the tired and the poor. We no longer accept the huddled masses seeking salvation from circumstance. We have decided we are too tired and too poor and too restricted ourselves to give others a space in our country.

This attitude is evident going into the 2017 Texas legislative session. Last week Rep. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) filed a bill that would cut state funding to cities that fail to enforce federal immigration laws. The bill was designated a priority by Lt. Gov. Greg Abbott. Additionally, Texas Senator Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) filed SB 108, which would increase mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of felonies if they are found to be in the country illegally.

These pieces of legislation move to block cities from instituting “sanctuary city” policies. Although there is no official definition of a sanctuary city, they are generally recognized as cities which place limits on the degree to which local law enforcement cooperate with federal laws and immigration officials to detain and deport undocumented residents.

Those who oppose sanctuary cities do so for two reasons: They believe deportation practices keep the United States safer, and these protective policies do not comply with federal law.

Security has historically been the reasoning by which the United States has justified discrimination. But studies have found that not only are immigrants less likely to commit crimes, but crime actually goes down after cities implement sanctuary policies.

American society is centered around the base unit of the family. Deportation policies break the very foundational structure of American society.

Sally Hernandez, recently elected Travis County Sheriff, believes that strong communities are the true key to security.

“I ran on a platform to implement a progressive ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] policy, and I will keep my promise to Travis County voters,” Hernandez said. “It is the right thing to do, and it will make our community safer. I have been a victims advocate for 34 years, and I can tell you, Travis County is a safe place to live in and will remain a safe place.”

It’s been speculated that Hernandez could move to make Austin a sanctuary city. Which brings us to the second doubt opposers have: legality To answer this question, I’d direct you to Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous letter from Birmingham: “One may well ask: ‘How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?’ The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust.”

The very people our statue of liberty proclaims to welcome are the ones we hurt by we denying them safety and protection in their own communities. Enforcing these policies denies them the ability to take part in the justice system, something America claims to recognize as a human right.

As the Texas legislature moves to crack down on immigrants, we should remember that it is at our worst that we show our true character. Time and time again America has shown that when push comes to shove, our values of individual freedom and diversity take a backseat if someone can cry wolf loud enough.

MacLean is an advertising and geography sophomore from Austin. Follow her on twitter @maclean_josie

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Proposed deportations would harm Texas families