The Hispanic National Bar Association said Thursday it’s pulling its 2020 conference out of Texas to protest that state’s push to crack down on sanctuary cities, saying the new law slated to go into effect next month will lead to discrimination.
“We stand in solidarity with the cities, communities, and organizations that have voiced their opposition to this draconian law,” said Pedro J. Torres-Diaz, the association president.
The conference had been slated for El Paso, and the association said it would have brought nearly 1,000 people — and an estimated $1 million in economic benefits — with it.
The new state law, SB 4, punishes jurisdictions that have sanctuary policies thwarting police cooperation with federal immigration authorities, and also empowers local police to check the legal status of those they believe to be in the U.S. without authorization.
Mr. Torres-Diaz said that likely means Hispanics — his association’s members — will be stopped without good reason.
He said as long as the state law remains, his organization will boycott.
“We certainly will not invest our dollars into a state that has demonstrated an unwillingness to provide all people with equal protection and due process under its laws, nor would we subject our members, all of whom could face detention and questioning under SB4, to such discriminatory and degrading treatment by hosting a conference in a State with such openly hostile policies,” he said.
A number of jurisdictions have sued to try to stop SB 4, which takes effect Sept. 1. One federal judge on Wednesday tossed Texas’s attempt for a preemptive legal ruling, leaving the case in the hands of another judge in San Antonio.
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