Last week, a Sanctuary Cities Bill was once again introduced in the Texas Legislature. Here is a link to an interview that I gave to Estephany Escobar of KXXV-TV.
The Bill addresses sanctuary cities (which are not a problem in Texas), encourages "show me your papers" by local police, and requires law enforcement to investigate and record in files on criminal cases when someone is in the U.S. unlawfully.
"Sanctuary city" is a term frequently used for a broad range of situations from entities that refuse to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to those who create a welcoming environments for immigrants.
There are no cities in Texas that I am aware of who refuse to cooperate with ICE. Austin is frequently given as an example of a sanctuary city, but the Travis County jail releases individuals to ICE where there is a detainer (request to hold the individual for 48 hours after release from county custody).
Show Me Your Papers:
The bill prohibits policies that prevent law enforcement from inquiring about someone's immigration status. This has nothing to do with sanctuary cities and is a road to racial profiling.
This requires an affirmative inquiry into the immigration status of each individual that is arrested or charged with a crime. If an individual does not have lawful status, it is to be noted in the file and reported to the judge in charge of the case. The only purpose that this serves is to encourage stiffer penalties for those who do not have lawful status.
The introduction of this kind of legislation erodes the relationship between law enforcement and the immigrant community and hurts us all.