The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation’s largest and oldest Latino Civil Rights organization says Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s recent order to state troopers is blatant and illegal racial profiling. In a press statement issued today, they have called out the Governor.
Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President issued the following statement;
“This is clear-cut militarization of Texas against individuals, children, and families by an out-of-control governor who thinks he has unilateral power to do whatever he wants and violate the civil rights of people based solely on appearance or suspicion. Racial profiling on steroids is a dangerous and unprecedented act that blatantly crosses the line and should concern all persons who value their freedom.”
Garcia is of course referring to Governor Abbott’s latest attempt to combat the influx of migrants on Texas’ southern border. Abbott has issued an executive order that authorizes Department of Public Safety officers across the state to stop, question, turn around, or seize vehicles with passengers who appear Latino.
The action was taken, said Abbott, because
“President Biden’s refusal to enforce laws passed by the United States Congress cannot be allowed to compromise the health and safety of Texans by knowingly exposing them to COVID- 19
The intent is clear, and the statement broad and all-encompassing. Right across Texas, vehicles with people who look remotely Latino can be stopped, questioned, and arrested, simply based on their physical characteristics. It doesn't stop there.
The executive order also contains an additional provision that exposes anyone trying to help the migrants left stranded by DPS troopers’ actions to legal consequences and possible arrest.
The order states, No person, other than a federal, state, or local law-enforcement official, shall provide ground transportation to a group of migrants who have been detained by CBP for crossing the border illegally or who would have been subject to expulsion under the Title 42 order.
Garcia says the bill ignores the due process of law on multiple levels. He added the following to the LULAC press release
“First, DPS troopers are not doctors to know if someone has COVID so how do they decide what constitutes reasonable suspicion of a person or persons in a car? Also, this order applies statewide anywhere in Texas, not just in proximity to the border, so law enforcement can now stop and question people in any car solely on their appearance and cite COVID-19 as a pretext to violate our rights. LULAC will not allow Governor Abbott to do this without question or accountability, and neither should Texans who claim to stand for justice and liberty,”
Has Governor Abbott overstepped? Many will still be sympathetic towards the plight of law enforcement officials on the Texas border. The federal government and President Biden have created a public perception in the minds of many asylum seekers that the borders are now fair game and huge surges need to be addressed.
In the absence of any tangible plan from Washington, Texas needs to take steps to address the influx, but targeting the entire Hispanic community in Texas is clearly not the answer. Solutions need to be community-driven and the Governor’s latest effort appears to be at the expense of a large portion of his electorate.
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