The very idea of ‘sanctuary cities’, i.e. cities which willingly decide to violate federal law and for all intents and purposes basically support the illegal immigration epidemic, is simply disgusting. And yet so many are in support of these cities that even biased leftist judges are trying to block President Trump from rightfully cutting off the flow of federal funds to these cities. But the fight goes on and now the Texas legislature has moved to the final step of passing a bill that would penalize jurisdictions, including college campus police departments, which protect illegal immigrants.
In the following video, Right Wing News looks at the details of the bill, known as Senate Bill 4, which would subject these local and state entities to civil penalties of up to $25,500 for any violation plus the loss of state grant money and sovereign immunity from lawsuits. It is simply crazy that we have to go to such drastic measures to get federal law enforced, but that’s the situation we find ourselves in today.
As President Donald Trump has been pushing for federal policies that would penalize sanctuary cities for harboring illegal immigrants, the Texas state government has been formulating an anti-sanctuary city policy of its own.
In fact, the Texas legislature has moved to the final step of passing a bill that would penalize jurisdictions, including college campus police departments, that protect illegal immigrants, according to Breitbart.
Senate Bill 4 would prohibit state criminal justice agencies, campus police departments and local jurisdictions from discouraging or prohibiting a person who is a commissioned peace officer, corrections officer, booking clerk, magistrate, district attorney, criminal district attorney or other prosecuting attorney from following immigration laws.
If enacted, the law would subject these local and state entities to civil penalties of up to $25,500 for any covered violation. Any civil penalties collected under the law would be used to compensate crime victims.
The specified governmental bodies would also be prevented from receiving state grant money and could lose their sovereign immunity in lawsuits brought against them because of injuries caused by the release of criminal aliens who commit a felony within 10 years after their release.
Furthermore, the law would make it a Class A misdemeanor for any elected official — such as a sheriff, police chief or other law enforcement officer — and those appointed by them to refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials.
The measure to combat sanctuary cities in the state came on the heels of a March 20 ICE report that showed Travis County, Texas, to be the No. 1 jurisdiction in the country for not complying with federal immigration detainers.
In fact, over 70 percent of the 206 criminal aliens released during the week of Jan. 28 through Feb. 3 were released by the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.
Republican Rep. Charlie Geren, the sponsor of the measure in the Texas House, said the bill was put forth to “protect Texans from criminals who are here illegally.”
“We are trying to make sure those bad actors are detained until we can determine their status,” Geren explained. “This bill will not affect law-abiding citizens, only those that are in trouble with the police.”
The Texas House passed the bill on a 94 to 53 party line vote Thursday afternoon — a vote praised by the Texas House Republican Caucus.
“This legislation comes after governmental entities in Texas have adopted ‘sanctuary city’ policies that purposefully hinder or prohibit local law enforcement cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs and prohibit officers from inquiring about a person’s immigration status,” the GOP lawmakers said.
While opponents of the bill have argued that the measure would discourage victims or witnesses of crimes from coming forward because of their immigration status, the legislation expressly provides that a law enforcement official may not question such individuals about their immigration status.
Officials engaged in community outreach activities specifically involving victims of family or domestic violence also may not inquire into immigration status.
Angie Junck, a supervising attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco, said the Texas bill would be the first in the country to explicitly compel local jurisdictions to honor ICE detainer requests and impose criminal charges on those who don’t, according to USA Today.
Since it passed the House with amendments, a conference committee of both Senate and House representatives would work toward a mutually agreeable bill before sending it to Gov. Greg Abbott for his signature, according to the Washington Examiner.
Abbott, who pushed for the law’s passage in the state legislature, has vowed to sign it into law. If enacted, the law would go into effect on Sept. 1, 2017.
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