On Tuesday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in an e-mailed statement “ICE is not aware of receiving any calls related to this matter.”
There was no way for Rinaldi, or anyone else, to know who was undocumented or not. The crowd was overwhelmingly Latino and that was enough for the lawmaker to assume the need for a round up and mass deportation.
Siccing ICE on people who annoy you, now that’s a new low in politics. What Rinaldi did is especially troubling in light of the signing into law of SB4, which allows individuals to be questioned about their citizenship status while detained, including during traffic stops. The new law of the land in Texas, which takes effect Sept. 1, encourages racial profiling.
However, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbot, the law would not allow for Hispanics to get detained inappropriately. As reported by the Texas Tribune, the governor stated that, “there are laws against racial profiling, and those laws will be strictly enforced.”
The rationale for SB4 was similar to Arizona’s S.B. 1070 anti-immigration bill – to ensure public safety and not target specific groups. Its provisions prohibit government entities and universities from preventing law and immigration officers from enforcing immigration laws, a strike at so-called sanctuary cities.
Well in Texas, that flimsy negligee of a justification didn’t stay on long.
Would Rinaldi have called immigration authorities if the protesters were white women or African-Americans? He called Immigration authorities because the crowd was overwhelmingly Latino.
Four out of 10 Texans is Latino.
SB4 essentially puts a cloud of suspicions on close to half of the state’s population. The end result of this law will not be increased public safety, but one of increased racial profiling, political polarization, and a lot of false alarm calls to ICE.