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Religious groups get into the SB4 fight


For the first time, religious groups have filed court briefs against the so-called sanctuary cities ban in Senate Bill 4, entering the fray in a lawsuit that seeks to prevent the implementation of the law, which they say will harm their faith communities.

The Episcopal Diocese of Texas, numerous individual religious leaders and a state interfaith organization asked the federal court in San Antonio on Sunday to consider their opposition to SB 4 when deciding on a request for an injunction that would prevent the law from being enforced beginning Sept. 1.

“SB 4 is contrary to the moral imperative that we love our neighbor, welcome the immigrant and care for the most vulnerable among us,” Bishop C. Andrew Doyle of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas said in a news release. “This law represents an anti-immigrant agenda that is born out of fear and promoted out of a sense of privilege, jeopardizing justice for everyone.”


Leading up to SB 4’s passage, more than 200 religious leaders, including Doyle, participated in protests and legislative hearings that culminated in the passage of SB 4. However, the court filings Sunday marked the first time religious groups had joined the court battle.

Six bishops from the Episcopal Diocese along with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Methodist Church and Texas Impact filed a friend of the court brief against SB 4.In total, they represent at least 142,000 parishioners and 461 congregations in Texas, according to the filing.

Locally, Austin City Council Member Sabino “Pio” Renteria has said he has seen attendance at his church drop sharply since ICE conducted enforcement raids this year in Texas and lawmakers passed SB 4.

The filing states that it would hamper religious groups’ efforts to help new immigrants seek assistance, citing a United Nations study that found 64 percent of female immigrants who enter the country illegally are fleeing violence, the suit said.

It also states that the law would allow “rogue” officers to commit wanton racial and ethnic profiling.

The amicus brief was filed in the San Antonio court case, which this story suggests will be the primary one over the pre-emptive lawsuit filed by Ken Paxton in Austin. Bravo to these religious leaders for their courage and compassion. May many more follow their example.

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  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Renteria says his congregation is afraid of getting stopped while driving. Seems like a simple problem to solve. If you don’t have a driver’s license, DON’T DRIVE a car, then you won’t be afraid of getting stopped with no DL. It’s illegal, every time you turn the key. It’s a new CRIME, each time. Drive to church? Crime. Drive home from church? Crime. Want to drive? Go back to your own country, where you CAN get a driver’s license. Otherwise, take the bus, or maybe the church should organize car pools, like they did during the Montgomery bus boycott. Let the people who have licenses pick up their fellow parishioners that don’t have DL’s.

    If those churchgoers were really pious, they wouldn’t be breaking our laws on a daily basis.

  2. Ross says:

    So, Bill, is it safe to say that, in your view, it’s perfectly OK for police to stop any vehicle containing brown people, then drag them out, then beat them senseless, then deport them? Even the citizens, just in case?

    With the passage if SB4, most of my Hispanic friends and my wife’s family are afraid to get stopped for even a minor offense, feeling like the police will use it as an excuse to harass them even more than they do now. You have no clue how bad cops can get, since they seldom do bad crap to whites for grins and giggles.

  3. Bill Daniels says:


    Are you channeling Neither now? I expected better from you. If you don’t have a driver’s license, don’t drive. How that somehow becomes an anti-brown people position is mind boggling.

    If your wife’s family is fearful when they drive and they have DL’s and insurance just like I do, then sorry, their irrational fear is not my problem, and SB4 won’t impact them any more than it impacts me.

    Cop: I need your DL and insurance card

    Me: Sorry, I lost my DL, but I have a valid one.

    Cop: Give me your info so I can check it out

    Me: DL#, address

    Cop: checks my DL pic on his computer, compares it with my face, sees I’m that person, and either writes me a ticket for not having it with me or just tells me to get a duplicate.

    This isn’t the 1970’s and your wife’s family isn’t Jose Campos Torres.

  4. neither here nor there says:

    Bill you keep making things up. I could link to studies that would prove you are wrong, but you are not interested in facts.

    Stress kills and you seem to have a tremendous amount of hate toward brown people, my 2 cents.

    Yoga, could help, I won’t say religion because too many religions including Christians teach hate to their congregations. I don’t blame the religions just the so called shepherds.

    You think you are better Bill?

  5. C.L. says:

    Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.

  6. neither here nor there says:

    C.L. so a a legal citizen should not go if he looks “Illegal”? Just wondering what your statement means.