San Antonio, TX – Please attribute the following statement on Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s request to the United States Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit seeking to stay a federal district court’s injunction blocking implementation of Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund):

“In the immediate aftermath of the very real threat to Texas posed by Hurricane Harvey, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed a request that is the epitome of effrontery, insensitivity, and insult. AG Paxton today sought from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals an emergency stay of Judge Orlando Garcia’s decision last week to bar the implementation of the bulk of SB 4. In other words, the state of Texas is arguing that it is an emergency to begin implementing this pernicious and discriminatory law, even after widespread reports that the threat of SB 4 contributed to many people foregoing much-needed humanitarian aid in response to actual emergency.

“Today’s court filing seeking a decision in two days so that Texas can begin as soon as possible to use SB 4 to further frighten and attack immigrants is a despicable motion. While it is meritless as a matter of law, the motion is beneath contempt when it comes to moral and political leadership.”