A direct affront to our values as a county.

20 Dec, 23

Dear Friends, 

I write to you today with deep concern and outrage over the passage of Senate Bill 4 (SB4), anti-immigrant legislation set to go into effect on February 6th, 2024. This bill not only constitutes an extreme case of state overreach but is a direct affront to our values as a county.

SB4, along with Senate Bill 3 (SB3), which appropriates $1.5 billion to continue building barriers along the Texas-Mexico border and to fund deportation efforts, represents a gross misallocation of our state's resources. Instead, these funds could have been invested in urgent needs like public health, affordable housing, economic opportunity initiatives, infrastructure, climate adaptation and resilience, and more. Rather, they are being used to fuel dangerous policies that are ineffective and harmful to our community.

Not only are these bills wasteful and dangerous, but they also threaten to negatively impact our criminal justice system. SB4 is a misguided attempt to turn local law enforcement into immigration police, a role they are neither trained nor equipped to handle. It will lead to more overcrowded jails and backlogged courts, further straining our resources and diverting attention from pressing public safety concerns.

SB4 creates potential for racial profiling. It opens the door for law enforcement to target individuals based on their race, color, language, or national origin, a practice that is not only discriminatory but also unconstitutional. This will undermine our public safety efforts and make it harder to keep our county safe.

We are committed to challenging this legislation and Governor Greg Abbott’s efforts at usurping federal authority over immigration matters. We believe in the strength of our diversity and the rights of all individuals, regardless of their immigration status.

To the residents of Precinct One and Harris County, we stand with you. We will do everything in our power to oppose these and any other legislative actions that threaten our values and our people, and we will keep fighting for just immigration reforms.


Rodney Ellis