The venue in which the political debate took place on July 12.
Local Carrollton residents and activists gathered on July 12 to debate the morality of 287(g). When first implemented, 287(g) was intended to reduce alien crime, by allowing law enforcement to alert federal forces of an undocumented immigrant. But, activists claim that it has had more detrimental effects.
Undocumented hispanics are living in fear, afraid to report crime. While the program does not target those reporting crimes, many are unwilling to take the risk. Many undocumented immigrants fear that any sort of contact with the police force will lead to an investigation, and their deportation. The implementation and continuation of 287(g) has created a community afraid to call for help. The safekeepers of the community have become a boogeyman for many. Now, legal and illegal immigrants are taking a stand to end 287(g).
On the regularly scheduled council meeting, community members shared their thoughts and experiences. Few spoke on the harmful affects 287(g) has on the perception of the hispanic community, stating it creates the idea all hispanics are criminals. But, despite the fear, bravery was evident in every speaker. A commitment to make home, actually feel like home. Many agreed that while breaking local laws is punishable, it is inappropriate to involve immigration laws as well.
But, a new law, SB4, now allows for law enforcement to question anyones legal status, crime or no crime. To a community already living in fear, a law this controversial can only do more harm. But, the meeting ended on a hopeful note. Counselors were moved by the emotional stories shared by community members. And while action towards SB4 and 287(g) are still up in the air, activists are determined to make a change.