SB4, the state law that would allow law enforcement to ask the public about immigration status, will go into effect next month and Houston activists, as well as political and business leaders, are using money as a reason to ask for its repeal.
Based on the impact a law similar to SB4, commonly known as the sanctuary cities law, had in Arizona a few years ago groups like Texas Together and Mi Familia Vota predict the legislation will hurt Texas’ economy.
According to immigration activists, the population of non-citizen Hispanics in Arizona decreased by 10 to 15 percent because of the law, which was known as SB1070.
Based on that, Texas Together, Pantsuit Republic Texas and Mi Familia Vota contend that if 10 percent of undocumented immigrants leave our state, it could lose more than $200 million in state and local taxes.
After a press conference held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston, Laura Murillo, president and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, told Houston Public Media: “this is real money. We saw the negative economic consequences in Arizona. These are real issues that have an impact, whether you are pro-immigrant or not.”
The groups also predict billions of dollars in lost wage earnings and job losses that were dependent on immigrant consumers.
Houston City Council Member for District I Robert Gallegos foresees other problems because, as he noted during the press conference, “SB4 will expose Houstonians to violations of due process. It’ll erode trust between the Police and the public.”
SB4 is scheduled to go into effect on September First.
This story originally appeared 8/11/2017 on Houston Public Media.