What to know as Texas nears passing 'sanctuary city' law

Thursday, 18 May, 2017

The GOP-led Senate passed the bill Wednesday despite objections from Democrats, who call the bill a "show-me-your-papers" measure that will be used to discriminate against Latinos.

A bill that would ban sanctuary jurisdictions in Texas, and make it a crime for police and sheriffs' departments to fail to cooperate with immigration enforcement, is headed to the governor's desk where it is all but guaranteed to be signed into law.

Abbott said after the bill passed that he would "not tolerate sanctuary-city policies that put the citizens of Texas at risk", according to the report.

The bill also includes a controversial House amendment that allows police officers to question a person's immigration status during a detainment - not just during a lawful arrest.

With nearly no debate, the Texas House passed a separate bill, Senate Bill 21, that outlines the duties of Texas delegates if the convention were to happen.

Sen. Charles Perry, who wrote the bill, said the legislation was meant to provide "uniform application of the law without prejudice" to everyone in Texas. After the emotional Wednesday-night vote on the bill, Abbott tweeted that he was "getting my signing pen warmed up".

Law enforcement officials and local leaders face criminal charges if they prevent police from inquiring about a person's immigration status or refuse to enforce immigration laws. "Nowhere in this bill does it allow officers to stop a person exclusively to enforce federal immigration law". Hernandez and interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley have both said they will follow SB 4 if it becomes law. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, as the Senate debated approving sweeping anti-sanctuary cities legislation late Wednesday - which would send it to the governor to be signed into law. Wolff was joined by San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, District Attorney Nicolas LaHood and a handful of other state and local officials in asking Abbott to veto SB 4.

"It's a possibility, but if that's the case, I know that I'm doing it because it's my moral obligation to resist unjust laws", she said. They say it could affect police-community relationships and break apart families.

Texas State Representative Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land), one of the authors of the measure, told Breitbart Texas there were 12 other states in the country waiting to see what Texas was going to do.

Pastor Jim Rigby of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, is a leading member of Austin's sanctuary network of churches housing immigrants to protect them from deportation.

"We consider the wind at our backs because of the way the bill is worded", she said. "I'm a little concerned we took money away from these necessary agencies and are giving a break to people want to carry a handgun".

Abbott has already indicated this issue is a priority of his by making it an emergency item during his State of the State Address. The county also agreed to provide training for officers to understand the limits of their authority regarding civil immigration law enforcement.