Sara Lonardo,, 202-730-7332

Issued May 08, 2017

SEIU’s Sáenz: Texas’ anti-immigrant law criminalizes immigrants, will hurt state’s economy

WASHINGTON, D.C.—SEIU International Executive Vice President and iAmerica Action President Rocio Sáenz issued the following statement on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signing the anti-immigrant SB 4 into law:

“One week ago, SEIU members joined with our communities to protest against actions to tear away millions of our family members, our neighbors, and co-workers from their homes. We made our voices heard then and we’re going to make them heard now. America is a nation that welcomes immigrants, and values the talent, sweat and hard work they bring to our communities. Hatred and bigotry have no home here. No law can change that. This law will stain Texas’ reputation nationwide and worldwide.

“Gov. Abbott knows this legislation criminalizes immigrants and will hurt Texas’ economy. That’s why he signed it on a Sunday night and with no advance notice. Gov. Abbott is just like every other self-interested politician in our rigged system. He refuses to act in the best interests of working families and immigrant families. Instead he prioritizes the interests of greedy corporations, many of whom make record profits by taking advantage of their employees, including many immigrant workers. This is wrong and we are going to hold him accountable for his actions.

“Besides being racist, this law is bad policy. Every big city sheriff in Texas opposed this unconstitutional law, which will put our communities into greater danger when immigrants are scared to call the police when a crime has been committed, for fear they will be the ones prosecuted. This bill is just another version of Arizona’s hateful law the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against. Immigrants should not have to live in fear they will be rounded up and ripped from their children with no chance to say goodbye. No one should have to fear that.

“SEIU was founded by immigrants nearly 100 years ago and is now the largest organization of immigrants in the United States. Our members know we are stronger when we have a say at work and in our political system through unions, and when every family and community has the chance to thrive. We will not stop until that promise is realized.”