Texas trip spurs fears, concerns over racist law

By Denis Perez, Editor-In-Chief

Last month I visited Dallas, Texas with fears and expectations of racism and minoritization due to regional racism.

In Texas, Senate Bill 4 allows law enforcement  to detain a suspected immigrant and ask them to provide green card identification or be deported.

This extends to college and university police departments in Texas, like those at Contra Costa College.

This bill is to counter sanctuary city policies, so it goes further to encourage law enforcement cooperation with immigration authorities.

Texas SB4 was signed into law in May.

Although, the safety of citizens is in the minds of many supporters of this law, minorities are marginalized through it as they have been throughout all of U.S. history.

In Arizona, SB 1070 also makes provisions for law enforcement to stop suspected immigrants without a warrant and search them for immigration documentation.

In 1994, even California enacted Proposition 187,  which prohibited undocumented people from using social services like health care and public education.

It is sad because in the land of the free, there are racists in our government, federally and locally, who manage social policies as if they were criminal offenses.

In the eyes of the law, my lack of documentation is a civil issue not a criminal one.

But in Texas, 95 Republican lawmakers who said yes to the current SB4 policy see me as a criminal.

I have decided to educate myself on issues that affect my community and provide it information through journalism.

This is what led me to Dallas as I attended a national convention.

There, I saw no reason why outside of the sanctuary of California I could be easily thrown into a white van and sent to, as the bill states, a  “secure facility.”

I, indeed, fit the description of those who would be detained because of SB4, since I can easily be seen as brown, undocumented and unworthy of being there.

I believe the 95 legislators who voted for SB4 would also have voted in approval of the old “Stop and Frisk” policy in New York, SB 1070 in Arizona and Proposition 187 in California.

I knew that Texas could be white and racist while also knowing that everything is supposed to be bigger in Texas.

Anxiety rose inside of  me as I waited to see the big, bad racist white people waving their large Confederate flags.

I actually did see them, and was in the presence of the big, bad racist-in-chief himself, President Donald J. Trump.

The day we landed in Dallas and checked into our hotel in downtown Dallas, was the same day Trump met with community donors at a private fundraiser in the Belo Mansion — two blocks from our hotel.

There, a protest and rally was held to protest Trump’s private meeting and fundraising efforts.

The location was different, but the signs, the chants and the types of groups at this protests were quite similar to those here in the Bay Area. Even the people in support of Trump acted the same.

It showed me that racism is alive in Texas as much as it is in California — but so are the people who will fight it.

For an undocumented child from Mexico fighting to be a world class journalist, an opportunity is all I need to continue fighting for a better future for the undocumented community — everywhere.