'Show Me Your Papers' Law Challenged by Tejano Teens


This Wednesday, teen girls aged 15 to 16 will wear puffy, sparkly and colorful quinceañera dresses, but it won't be to celebrate their transition to adulthood. 

The young women will protest Senate Bill 4 (SB 4), legislation signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (via Facebook Live on May 7) that will outlaw sanctuary cities by mandating law enforcement to implement anti-immigrant policies.

Quinceñeras at the Capitol, according to Remezcla, will “draw attention to the negative effects of SB 4.” During the event, the women will participate in a traditional choreographed dance, but will dance to songs with powerful political messages. Each teen will also state 15 reasons why she is against the legislation.

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The protest is hosted by Jolt, a Texas-based non-profit that helps give political power and a voice to Latinos across the state.  Tania Mejia, Jolt’s communications director, spoke with Remezcla about the importance of this event: “We thought that this event would be a great way to show people that this is our home, celebrate our culture, and send the message that young Latinas are standing up to the ongoing attacks on our community by our elected officials who work at the Capitol.”

Under SB 4 all local authoritative bodies who do not uphold immigration laws will be fined $1,000-$1,500 for the first offense and up to $25,000 for additional offenses. Repeat "offenders" can be subject to jail time. The law, signed this past May, will also allow officials to question anyone about their immigration status, including children.

Critics say SB 4 will encourage racial profiling, however, Gov. Abbott believes it will not impact immigrants (legal or illegal) who have not committed crimes.

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According to The Washington Times, there are at least 500 sanctuary cities in the U.S., but thanks to Gov. Abbott, none of them will be in Texas as of September 1.