August 31, 2017
Statement from HACU President and CEO Antonio Flores on Court Decision on Texas SB 4
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) applauds the judge’s finding to temporarily block key provisions of SB 4 that was recently signed into law by Texas Governor Abbott and set to go into effect on September 1, 2017. We hope that this temporary injunction is a prelude to the law’s being found unconstitutional when it comes to trial, as at least parts of similar laws have been found in other states.
Allowing the law to go into effect on Sept. 1 would have caused serious harm to our local communities. Mandating local police and college/university campus security officers to enforce federal immigration laws, which is out of their jurisdiction and expertise, would lead to unfettered racial/ethnic profiling and thus to unconstitutional practices against Texas citizens. Many Texas law enforcement officials have argued against this bill because it would erode citizen confidence in the police, reduce the tendency to report crimes, especially among immigrants, and in consequence make Texas less rather than more safe.
By overreaching to college/university campuses, SB 4 also disregarded the principles of the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA) that provide temporary legal protection from immigration prosecution to undocumented immigrant minors. It would also put campus police departments in the untenable position of being called upon to enforce federal immigration law at an even greater cost to the spirit of campus communities.
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).