Urgent Action Alert Regarding the Intensification of Anti-Immigrant Violence and Racial Discrimination in Texas

Dear friends:

As you know, the State of Texas has historically played a key role in shaping racist and exclusionary immigration policies in the United States – from the Texas Rangers violence against people of color in the early 1900s, to the recent multi-billion, multi-agency Operation Lone Star (OLS). OLS is a $4.4 billion infrastructure package that has caused a litany of detrimental impacts for immigrant and border communities, including racial profiling, violation to due process rights and a myriad of other human and civil rights violations against migrants and refugees.

Now, the state is considering massively expanding border militarization and the enforcement infrastructure to further institutionalize and operationalize far-right nationalism and anti-immigrant/anti-refugee xenophobia across the state.

The Texas House of Representatives just passed $4.6 billion in additional funding for Operation Lone Star and is considering at least 40 bills that would further erode human rights, and fuel racism and xenophobic violence against migrants and communities of color across the state.

Tomorrow, April 12th, the Texas State Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on two of these harmful bills HB 20 and HB 7:

HB 20 would:

Codify Operation Lone Star into state law.
Establish a “Border Protection Unit” that would deputize citizens and (militias) to engage in immigration enforcement operations.
Increases border crossing or “state trespassing” charges to a third-degree felony and a fine of at least $10,000.
Codify a state version of Title 42.
HB 7, on the other hand, would:

Allow border counties to create a separate “Border Protection Court” to handle border related issues.
Establish a “Border Property Compensation Fund” to pay property owners for damages caused by someone crossing the border.
Create a grant program for higher education institutions to promote and recruit for careers in immigration and law enforcement.
Provide funding to local governments and “community institutions” to create and maintain border facilities to engage in, or assist with border security.
Two Texas lawmakers have the power to stop HB 20 and HB 7. We urgently ask you to call and tweet these lawmakers to express your opposition to these harmful bills:

Chairman of the State Affairs Committee

Rep. Todd Hunter- District 32

512-463-0672 (Austin Office)

361-949-4634 (District’s Office)


Speaker of the House

Rep. Dade Phelan – District 21

512-463-1000 (Austin Office)

409-745-2777 (District’s Office)

Sample Script: Hi my name is _____________. I am calling to ask [Rep. Todd Hunter/ Speaker Dade Phelan] to vote “No” on HB20 and HB7. I strongly oppose HB20 and HB 7 because these bills will harm migrants, asylum seekers and border communities in general. The bills will fuel racial violence by allowing vigilantes to target communities of color. We urge you to invest in much needed community infrastructure [power grid/ healthcare/ school safety, education] instead of wasting funds that would create a hostile environment for communities across Texas.

Tweet at lawmakers:

Sample Tweets (Tweet at @DadePhelan and @Dist32StateRep)

I urge Speaker @DadePhelan and @Dist32StateRep stop #HB20, one of the most extreme and racist bills that would allow vigilantes to be deputized, prosecute and arrest migrants seeking safety at the border. Migrants and the people of Texas deserve better solutions, not more militias and jails! #NOtoHB20 #NOtoHB7
HB 20 and HB 7 would fuel racism, racial discrimination, and xenophobia against suspected migrants, officially targeting Black and Brown communities on the borderlands. I urge speaker @DadePhelan and @Dist32StateRep to vote #NOtoHB20 and #NOtoHB7
HB 7 will funnel state funding to municipalities for immigration enforcement, instead of funding key social programs and infrastructure, including the power grid/ healthcare/school safety. @DadePhelan and @Dist32StateRep VOTE #NOtoHB7
#HB20 violates international law by erecting barriers to asylum. I urge that Speaker @DadePhelan and @Dist32StateRep VOTE NO on #HB20. #NOtoHB20
HB 20 would increase police stops, and deadly high-speed chases are what cause the real chaos in border communities. #HB20 would allow roaming vigilantes to prosecute and arrest “who they perceive” is a migrant in Texas. Speaker @DadePhelan and @Dist32StateRep must stop #HB20. #NOtoHB20
In solidarity,

The NNIRR Team

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