Clearly, the troll game of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is on fire these days. I knew that even before I got the press release yesterday from the ACLU Hawaii chapter saying the organization has issued a travel advisory for anyone headed to Texas.
The advisory stems from the recent passage of SB4 in Texas. That law basically takes the 4th Amendment to the Constitution out back and shoots it to death.
“The law gives a green light to police officers in the state to investigate a person’s immigration status during a routine traffic stop, leading to widespread racial profiling, baseless scrutiny, and illegal arrests of citizens and non-citizens alike presumed to be ‘foreign’ based on how they look or sound,” states the ACLU news release. “The travel alert applies to all travelers to Texas, including U.S. travelers from other states and U.S. citizens. In addition, this alert applies to all encounters with federal, state, and county law enforcement including local police and sheriffs.”
Let’s be clear here–while there’s a definite gallows humor at work here, it’s also undeniable that fascist assaults on long-held constitutional protections are happening across the country. While much of the country is focused on the shit show in Washington, many other battles are happening in state legislatures–battles for the very soul of what it means to be a republic.
Here’s ACLU Hawaii legal director Mateo Caballero on the travel advisory:
Hawaii residents traveling to Texas need to be prepared for illegal harassment and racial profiling by local authorities when they get there. Hawaii is the most diverse state in the U.S. and we pride ourselves on the multitude of cultures represented on our islands. It is a sad day when we feel it necessary to advise our residents that it is precisely that diversity that makes them vulnerable to racial profiling and constitutional violations if they travel to Texas.
At a time when some state lawmakers on the continent are turning their backs on their own residents with racist and hateful laws such as SB4, we encourage Hawaii’s local and state leaders to reaffirm their commitment to inclusion and aloha by refusing to play accomplice to the Trump administration’s unconstitutional immigration agenda. SB4 and similar policies targeting immigrants simply do not reflect Hawaii’s core values.
For more information, go to Acluhi.org.
Click here for my Mar. 1, 2017 interview with Caballero.
Photo of Mateo Caballero courtesy ACLU