Texas House Passes Sanctuary Cities Legislation
by Julian AguilarAfter hours of contentious and often emotional debate, the Texas House passed HB 12, the controversial "sanctuary cities" legislation, which would prohibit cities, counties and other governmental entities or special districts from adopting a policy that prevents law enforcement from asking persons lawfully detained or arrested if they are in the country legally. Entities not in compliance could risk losing state funds.
The measure was passed on a 100 to 47 vote just before midnight.
Opponents of the legislation, proposed by state Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, fear it will lead to racial profiling and harassment of legal residents and citizens. Proponents of HB 12, which was declared an "emergency" item by Gov. Rick Perry, say it is a necessary tool to free up law enforcement to better identify those in the country illegally, including criminals.The legislation is, to date, the most controversial immigration-related legislation before state lawmakers and has ignited a controversy over what opponents also say may be the unintended consequences of the legislation. Texas could fare worse than Arizona, they say, which has faced widespread condemnation after it enacted SB 1070. The state has since been sued by the U.S. Department of Justice and has lost millions in tourism and convention-related revenue.
“When you cast this vote, I hope you realize that 9 million Hispanics will take it personally,” said state Rep. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, referring to the legal Hispanic population in Texas.http://www.texastribune.org/texas-l...es-legislation/