My name is Carly Frieders and I am an intern with MFV

This past week, former Emerging Latino Leaders and staff and friends of Mi Familia Vota mobilized to get the City of Houston to join a lawsuit against SB 4, an unconstitutional and  anti-immigrant bill passed last May by the Texas Legislature.

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Staff and friends of MFV gather in city council chambers to urge our elected officials to stand up for immigrant communities.

SB 4 forces local police to act as federal immigration enforcement officers and contains “show me your papers” provisions that encourage police to engage in racial profiling. It is opposed by the police chiefs of all major Texas cities, who see it as a threat to public safety that will intimidate crime victims and witnesses and usurp the control of local officials and law enforcement leaders. We wanted City Council to vote to take a stand against this discriminatory law and contribute to the fight to get it thrown out in court.

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Mariana discusses the fear she has seen emerge at diverse schools like University of Houston Downtown in the wake of SB 4.

ELL alumni Mariana Grijalva, Larisa Gonzales, and Felipe Guillen testified in favor of the lawsuit at last Tuesday’s City Council hearing, alongside others who work with MFV. Because of the powerful message they and others delivered against fear and discrimination, City Council voted 10-6 to join the lawsuit.

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Felipe tells City Council that he should not be stopped and asked to prove his legal residency because of the color of his skin.

Houston now joins Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, El Paso, and other Texas municipalities in standing against this discriminatory law. The first hearing in the case involving other cities will be June 22nd in San Antonio.

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Larisa discusses her experiences with discrimination and her opposition to SB 4 as a person of faith.


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