Texas bill to outlaw sanctuary cities near passage, could subject law enforcement to jail for violation

ABC News:
A tough Texas anti-sanctuary-cities bill that threatens to throw county sheriffs and small-town constables in jail if they refuse to help enforce federal immigration law looks to be on the fast-track toward passage in the state's Republican-controlled Legislature.

The proposal cleared a House committee 7-5 without debate Wednesday, setting up a floor vote soon. Opponents had hoped the House would soften a strict bill approved in February by Texas' Senate, but those tweaks made in committee shouldn't mitigate much.

Untouched was a hotly debated provision allowing for criminal charges against city or county officials who intentionally refuse to comply with federal authorities' attempt to deport people in the country illegally who already have been jailed on crimes unrelated to immigration. Elected officials could face up to a year in jail and lose their posts if convicted of official misconduct.

"By implementing this, we'll be able to remove these individuals from office," said Rep. Charlie Geren, a Fort Worth Republican who led the House effort to makeover what the state Senate approved previously. He said doing so "puts teeth in" the bill.

There also would be fines on local agencies, starting at $1,000 for a first offense and reaching $25,000 for recurring violations.

The Senate rushed to pass the bill despite the pleas of hundreds of opponents who waited hours to decry it as promoting discrimination and ultimately hurting law and order since it will make immigrants fearful of contacting police to report crimes. The House moved more slowly, but now appears poised to approve the proposal, too. Differences between each chamber's version will be reconciled in conference committee.
There is little to no evidence to support the contention that enforcing immigration law will "hurt law and order."  There is abundant evidence that failing to deport violent felons leads to significant crimes against the innocent.

I support this new law.  Polls indicate that nearly 80 percent of Americans oppose sanctuary cities.


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