After 10 deaths in a human trafficking incident in San Antonio, the immigration bill going into effect in September has some Hispanics in East Texas worried.
Senate Bill 4, known as the "sanctuary cities" law allows local law enforcement officers to ask the immigration status of people they arrest. It also punishes local government heads who don't cooperate with federal immigration detainers. Punishment could be as much as $25,000.
The bill goes into effect Sept. 1.
Margarita Perez said her Dad brought her here legally when she was a little girl. Living around the state, she's lived in Smith County for three years.
She said the recent smuggling incident in San Antonio doesn't surprise her, saying the conditions in Mexico are getting worse each day.
"They're killing people," Perez said. "Everywhere you find people hanging on the street. They cut their heads off or their arms."
Several Texas cities are suing Texas over the law, including Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.
"Those who think sanctuary cities are a great idea, this is what happens," said Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.
He continuously makes passing SB 4, the banning of sanctuary cities, a top priority.
"No one should have to die to come to America. We need legal immigration reform," Lt. Gov. Patrick said.
Some are calling this the toughest state-based immigration bill in the country.
Perez said coming to the US legally is getting harder, and with SB 4, she's worried she'll never get her citizenship.
"[In Mexico], for people to go to the immigration office, you have to have bank accounts, papers under your name. You have to have a good job, and nobody has a good job, because nobody gets paid good," Perez said.
For now, she's doing her best to protect her three little girls and give them the life she's always wanted.
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