May 10, 2017
Statement from HACU President and CEO Antonio Flores on SB 4 law
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) echoes the strong opposition of numerous national and state organizations to SB 4 that was recently signed into law by Texas Governor Abbott. Set to go into effect on September 1, 2017, “this law contradicts the best values of Texans and indeed of all Americans of good will,” said Antonio Flores, HACU President & CEO.
Mandating local police and college/university campus security officers to enforce federal immigration laws, which is out of their jurisdiction and expertise, may lead to unfettered racial/ethnic profiling and thus to unconstitutional practices against Texas citizens. This could further exacerbate the anti-immigrant climate that has emerged in some parts of the country. Such climate hinders community relations and cooperation with police officers, and undermines efforts to bring about greater racial/ethnic harmony and appreciation for diversity. “The potential outcomes of SB 4 could be devastating for too many Texas’ families and for all Texans,” added Flores.
By overreaching to college/university campuses, SB 4 also disregards the principles of the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA) that provide temporary legal protection from immigration prosecution to undocumented-immigrant minors. More than 752 thousand of them are under DACA protection, most of them at HACU member institutions, and it’s estimated that more than 2 million may be eligible for such legal safeguard. “SB 4 only adds to the fear and anxiety of DACA students, even as federal officials maintain that they are not deportable, and we hope that our judicial courts will block it indefinitely,” concluded Flores.
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) represents more than 470 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America and Spain. Founded in 1986, HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).