Friday, September 1, 2017
The law, which limits cities’ ability to set their own immigration policies and gives law enforcement officers sweeping authority to question anyone they suspect of being in the country unlawfully, was blocked last night by a federal judge who issued a last-minute hold on big parts of the bill, while a lawsuit by Texas’s major cities against the bill moves forward.
Governor Greg Abbott, SB.4’s champion, immediately promised to appeal, setting the stage for a fight in the federal court system. For now, the ruling only intensifies the confusion that has been a fact of life in Texas for immigrants and non-immigrants alike.
VICE News Tonight correspondent Jay Caspian Kang spent four months exploring the controversial bill and the impact it would have on ordinary families, law enforcement and the wider Texas community if enacted.
VICE News Tonight hears from the bill’s author Charles Perry, an accountant and State Senator from Lubbock, Texas who tells Kang that the bill was meant to protect citizens from “undocumented criminal[s]” and Houston's Police Chief, Art Acevedo, who told VICE News Tonight: “The perception that this law has created is having a chilling effect on the cooperation of the community that we need most.”