Dallas Democrat Fasts to Protest Texas Anti-Sanctuary Cities Bill

Posted April 28, 2017

The bill, SB4, would ban local governments and universities from instituting "sanctuary" policies and allow law enforcement to ask people about their immigration status.

The House version of the bill is considered less punitive than the Senate version because it only allows officers to ask about immigration status if a person is arrested.

Democrats, and even some veteran Republicans, opposed the change to no avail. "This will lead to less cooperation from members of the community and foster the belief that they can not seek assistance from police for fear of being subjected to an immigration status investigation".

A similar version of the house bill has already passed in the Texas senate, but the two chambers will have to iron out any differences before sending a final bill to Gov. Greg Abbott.

Texas doesn't now have any sanctuary cities, but that hasn't stopped Abbott and Republican legislative leaders from pushing aggressively for a ban. A choked-up Wu said the bill was personal to him as an immigrant, and he recounted the fear the proposal has stirred in his district. This is a real fear in the community and it doesn't just impact immigrants, it impacts, those of us with my color of skin. Many of his colleagues decried what they called a "show me your papers law".

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House Speaker Joe Straus has been vocal in the past about not supporting the bill because he thinks it's unnecessary and is not a priority for lawmakers. Things are far quieter in the Senate, which reconvenes at 11 a.m. Thursday. The bill will have to be reconciled with another bill approved by the Texas Senate. She last ate when she took communion during Sunday mass in her Dallas hometown. "And we want the Latino community to know we are fighting on their behalf", said Democratic Representative Rafael Anchia. While initially dropped from the House's bill, one state lawmaker added the provision back as an amendment which, after considerable legislative wrangling, was pushed through by the House's Freedom Caucus members, the Dallas Observer reported. Similar efforts have collapsed in the past, meaning the issue isn't yet fully settled.

A Texas lawmaker is going four days without food to protest a bill that would crack down on sanctuary cities. Law enforcement officials and those in immigrant communities fear the law will have a chilling effect on undocumented immigrants, causing them to not report crimes or come forward as witnesses for fear that contact with police can lead to ICE detention and deportation.

Texas Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, answers questions as the Texas house debates an anti-"sanctuary cities" bill that already cleared the Texas Senate and seeks to jail sheriffs and other officials who refuse to help enforce federal immigration law, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, in Austin, Texas.

This fast is her spiritual stand, she says, in opposition to an anti-"sanctuary cities" bill poised to become law in her state - and in the face of death threats criticizing her on social media.