Anti-Sanctuary City Bill Moves to Texas House

The Texas Senate gave final approval Wednesday to an anti-sanctuary city bill, but SB 4's fate remains uncertain in the lower chamber.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Joe Straus has already said the sanctuary city issue is not at the top of his list.  The House also has its own sanctuary city bill to consider and the chamber has been slow to name committee assignments to this point.

“The integrity of the system is only is good as the people we elect to be involved in the process, and if we elect people that don't have the integrity in what they say they're going to do is apply the law, then the system collapses on it's own,” said Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, just before colleagues approved his legislation by a 20-11 vote.

Houston Democrat Sylvia Garcia was among those making one last pitch against the measure, which would punish local governments and college if they fail to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

“These cities are not sanctuary cities, they're constitutional cities,” she said.  “They have all the protections necessary in their police departments, under the Fourth Amendment, for the people they detain, hold or arrest.”

Some House Republicans also have raised concerns about punishing local municipalities.

“The idea the governor or the leadership would cut off funding to cities and counties that do not comply with SB 4, its not going to hurt that elected officials, and in some cases it will make them more popular.  What its going to do is hurt our constituents,” said Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston.

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