The term "sanctuary cities" has no legal meaning but has been used to describe jurisdictions whose elected officials restrict, in any way, their police force's cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "It ties the hands of our law enforcement agency and pushes victims of crime into the shadows".
Lubbock Republican Charles Perry, who wrote the bill, said despite the criticism, the bill does not allow law enforcement to demand documentation of a person's immigration status.
Now, the controversial Senate Bill Four, nicknamed the "show me your papers" law, heads to the governor's office for approval.
Before Wednesday's vote, some lawmakers were still hopeful the bill would go to a conference committee where lawmakers from both chambers could strip the amendment from the bill. On Wednesday, the Lone Star State voted to outlaw sanctuary cities, a measure which could make things problematic for cities such as Austin and Houston.
From the beginning, Governor Abbott has said this bill is a priority. Opponents say it opens the door to discrimination and intimidation.
Time and again, local law enforcement have told us of the importance of maintaining open lines of communication with the public; of having the public's trust so that people willingly will come forward and give information on cases, or seek help when victimized. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston. "And in some parts of my district, it already is happening". Supporters of such a convention, including Gov. Greg Abbott, say overreaching federal government powers must be limited.
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President Trump signed directives to strip federal funding from "sanctuary" cities that shield "illegal" immigrants. "Local law enforcement should not be mandated to enforce federal immigration laws".
Grant police officers the authority to question a detained person's immigration status, even during a minor offense. But the members of our immigrant communities should know that you are welcome in Texas and you're not alone. "And it will foster the belief that people can not seek assistance from police for fear of being subjected to an immigration status investigation".
The sanctuary ban, Abbott argued in interviews and social media, was meant to stop counties like Travis from enacting similar policies. Brian Bridwell, R-Granbury, also sponsored Senate Bill 21, the accompanying legislation.
It's unclear however, if Abbott's signature on the bill will be the end of the conversation.
State Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin, one of the authors of House Bill 1776, said the measure is meant to ensure public school students are educated on the most critical components of us history and civics.
Before the final vote, Perry seemed to acknowledge as much.
State Rep. Richard Raymond, a Laredo Democrat, wore a Romo jersey and state Rep. Jeff Leach, a Plano Republican, donned a Cowboys helmet.