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Texas: Bill Banning Sanctuary Cities Heads to Governor’s Desk

Texas: Bill Banning Sanctuary Cities Heads to Governor’s Desk

“Texas can’t change federal immigration laws. What Texas can do is to enforce existing law.”

The Texas legislature passed a bill Wednesday, banning sanctuary cities in the Lone Star State.

Senate Bill 4 requires state law enforcement, including campus cops, to comply with federal immigration law and prohibits municipalities from creating policies or regulations that circumvent established federal laws. The bill specifically prohibits discrimination and allows the state to levy civil penalties on non-compliant entities.

After the House approved changes made in the Senate, Senate Bill 4 heads to Governor Abbott’s desk.

“Banning sanctuary cities is about stopping officials who have sworn to enforce the law from helping people who commit terrible crimes evade immigration detainers. Senate Bill 4 protects all Texans though uniform application of the law without prejudice,” said state Sen. Perry.

Twenty-four anti-SB 4 protesters were arrested Monday and charged with criminal trespassing. After eight hours of protesting, demonstrators refused to leave the lobby of Governor Abbott’s office when the building closed. No one was taken to jail.

From the Texas Observer:

Around 10 a.m. the group filled Abbott’s office at the State Insurance Building at the Capitol complex, chanting and carrying signs that read “sanctuary for all” and “Senate Bill 4: Anti-immigrant and anti-democracy.” They called on Abbott — who made anti-‘sanctuary city’ legislation an emergency item for the session — to veto SB 4.

After the building closed at 5 p.m. and the demonstrators refused to leave, Department of Public Safety (DPS) state troopers, who had forced members of the media out of the building, arrested 24 people, including Casar. They were processed at the scene and weren’t taken to jail.

“Repeated requests by DPS officials to leave when the building closed were ignored, and the suspects were subsequently arrested,” said Victor Taylor, a DPS staff sergeant, in a statement. “All 24 suspects arrested were given a sign release citation for criminal trespass, a Class B misdemeanor, and released.”

Eradicating sanctuary policies has been a priority of Governor Abbott’s.

In January, Abbott threatened Travis county (home of state capitol, Austin) with a loss of state funding when the newly elected sheriff attempted to employ sanctuary policies. When Travis county officials refused to comply, Abbott made good on his threat.

At the end of January, Abbott declared a ban on sanctuary cities an emergency item for the state legislature, making it possible to fast-track legislation:

“As elected officials, it is our responsibility to protect all Texans,” Abbott said during his State of the State speech today in Austin. “It’s our burden to deal with the consequences of the federal government not doing its job to secure our border,” Abbott continued.

“Now let’s be clear about this: We all support legal immigration into the United States; legal immigration is what’s built the United States of America,” Abbott said. “What must be stopped is illegal immigration — and worse, the criminals who conspire with cartels to enter the U.S. illegally,” Abbott continued.

“Texas can’t change federal immigration laws. What Texas can do is to enforce existing law,” said Abbott.

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Comments

The first step to emigration reform.

    Milhouse in reply to n.n. | May 4, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Again with emigration reform? What on earth is wrong with emigration that needs reforming, and how do you want to reform it? What conceivable business of anyone’s is it who leaves the country?

“Texas can’t change federal immigration laws. “Texas can’t change federal immigration laws. What Texas can do is to enforce existing law.””

Not quite correct. “Texas can’t change federal immigration laws. What Texas can do is to enforce existing law.” Only if the federal government is actually enforcing the law itself.”

    Observer in reply to davod. | May 4, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Yes, Arizona thought it could enforce immigration laws, but the SCOTUS said otherwise.

    But good for Texas for trying to put an end to the “sanctuary” lawlessness. It’s long overdue.

      Milhouse in reply to Observer. | May 4, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      Texas’s sanctuary cities are not lawless, now until now. There is no federal law against them, because Congress has no authority to make such a law. But the state does. If they continue after Abbott signs this bill then they will be lawless.

        Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | May 5, 2017 at 3:55 am

        Congress has the the authority to pass laws requiring state and local authorities to communicate with federal authorities. Or at least withhold funds if the the state and local authorities prohibit or punish that sort of communication. That’s not commandeering.

        I am totes fine with the NYPD not enforcing immigration law. But still letting ICE know when an illegal alien is going to show up for a court appearance.

It’s a start… good for Texas to pass this.

Need to contact state senators on this issue….

Good that they’re passing this – there’s some nuances that led to this that aren’t readily parent to those people outside Texas. This is the culmination of about 20 years of increasingly bitter conflict between the Texas Lege, on the one hand, and the Travis County and City of Austin govm’ts, on the other. Background – when Texas was all dem, back before GWB, Austin considered the State Govm’t to be its own special patrimony, and didn’t really want the rest of the State to have much to do with it. The state turned Republican, but Austin and Travis County stayed hard left dem, and they got increasingly bitter about the Republican legislature doing stuff in their back yard and not listening to them anymore. So they started trying to come up with all kinds of ways to harass the GOP and make life miserable for them, a recent attempt being the bogus charges filed against Rick Perry by the Travis County DA a couple of years ago. (they were all thrown out for being explicitly political in nature, but it took a lot of time and trouble)

The Legislature took away the power Travis County and the City of Austin had to do that anymore so instead, Austin last year decided it would become a sanctuary city, mainly to annoy the Legislature. The Lege finally has the power and the cohesion to show Austin who’s boss once and for all, and that’s what this fight is all about.

Oh, and that part about sending any officials who don’t support it to jail – that is a very specific payback to the DA who tried to send Rick Perry to jail. Austin and Travis County were the ones who started all this bullcorn about sending their political enemies to jail, so now they are going to get to feel what it’s like to be on the receiving end of some real hardball. Finally!

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Tom Servo. | May 5, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    And that’s a “Very Good Thang!”

    RE: “Oh, and that part about sending any officials who don’t support it to jail – that is a very specific payback to the DA who tried to send Rick Perry to jail. Austin and Travis County were the ones who started all this bullcorn about sending their political enemies to jail, so now they are going to get to feel what it’s like to be on the receiving end of some real hardball. Finally!”

Little Miss Sheriff Hernandez can just get glad in the same panties she got mad in. Damn I love Texas!

1. Sign it
2. Arrest “Sheriff” Hernandez

    Milhouse in reply to MTED. | May 4, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Only if she breaks this law, once it becomes law. She’s done nothing wrong until now, and if she observes this law once it’s enacted she’ll retain that innocence.

AmandaFitz | May 4, 2017 at 6:44 pm

I’m a fifth generation Texan and I’m thrilled with Governor Abbott! I am fed up with Travis county, the home of BOGUS prosecutions against their POLITICAL opponents.

No one is going to jail. There are only civil penalties attached to this which, essentially, means nothing more than a harshly worded letter at the end of the day.

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