AUSTIN (KXAN) — Several Texas groups say they plan to resist Donald Trump’s immigration policies locally in Austin.
The American Civil Liberties Union, Grassroots Leadership, the Austin Sanctuary Network and the group ICE Out of Austin held a news conference on Monday morning. They talked about plans to defend people against deportation and how local and state policies can help their cause.
The immigration allies say the new Trump administration is fueled by hate and is quick to attack inherent human rights. Together they plan to build a foundation of resistance to impact policies and change.
The conference announced their plans for Deportation Defense and Sanctuary in the Streets. They also plan to put together pamphlets to hand out with phone numbers for attorneys, and other contacts immigrants could need at a moment’s notice. Eventually, training will also be offered on how to interact with police officers and agents to help them know what to say if they are questioned.
Also on Trump’s immigration plan is to build a border wall along the Texas — Mexico border. Texas Democratic lawmakers say they do not want a wall. If Trump follows through on that campaign promise, some lawmakers expect Texas to divert some of the $800 million the state is spending on border security to other priorities, like education and the child welfare system.
In Austin, just before the end of 2016 the Austin City Council voted to spend city money on legal services for immigrants. The measure presented by Council Member Greg Casar would use money to defend documented and undocumented immigrants.
Mayor Steve Adler said the driving motivation was to reinforce and protect rights already under the law. “Knowing what their rights are under the law is something that benefits us, benefits us all as a community,” said Adler.
To give you some perspective on local immigration; Casar’s office says one out of every five people in Austin is an immigrant. In District 4, one out of every three people is an immigrant.