ARLINGTON - After a push from Arlington residents, the mayor decided Tuesday afternoon the city will take a vote on whether or not to oppose the state’s new anti-sanctuary city law.
Latinos make up the largest minority group in the city of Arlington. Yet, the city so far has been silent on a lawsuit that challenges the legality of Senate Bill 4, that prohibits Texas from having so-called sanctuary cities. Arlington is the largest North Texas city to not take a stand yet on the suit.
Arlington bills itself as the American Dream city. It is why Richard Gonzales believes the city should be fighting for its residents hoping to achieve the American dream.
Gonzales does not like that SB 4 secures a police officer's right to ask about one's immigration status. He says he met with the mayor and his city council member weeks ago, but he has only been met with silence in response to his request.
Dozens of citizens said they planned to speak at the end of the council meeting Tuesday night in hopes of having the city talk about whether to join the lawsuit against SB 4.
Even though SB 4, for the most part, prohibits police from asking if victims or witnesses to crimes are legal or not, Gonzales says the law will make Latinos too distrustful of police for it to matter.
“The biggest fear it will terrorize the Latino community,” he said. “The immigrant community will be hesitant to call the police in fear if they are undocumented they will go to that issue and not why the issue why they called.”
Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio have joined the suit. That means they will put city resources toward fighting the new law. Fort Worth decided not to join.
Arlington's mayor was out of town Tuesday. We also asked for a response from council members, but have not heard back from them yet.
The new law takes effect September 1.