Monday, November 9, 2015

Sanctuary Cities: Patrick leads; Abbott, Legislature follow....

"So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,
And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands."
Psalm 78:72

During his 2014 campaign for Lt. Governor, Dan Patrick explicitly campaigned on his desire to end sanctuary cities:
"Make no mistake - everything is on the line in this election," he once told a crowd. "You need a lieutenant governor who is going to secure the border, end sanctuary cities, end in-state tuition, lower your property taxes, pass campus carry and pass school choice."

[Author's Note: Emphasis added.]
Unfortunately, during the 84th legislative session, holdover legacy Republicans managed to squelch the bill in the Texas Senate; the Governor and House didn't want to have anything to do with the issue.

Then Kevin Eltife retired and, tragically, Kate Steinlie was murdered by an illegal alien in a sanctuary city.

In early August, Patrick revisited the issue:
AUSTIN – With debate over the nation’s immigration policies once again approaching full boil, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday pledged that the Senate next session would pass legislation to address so-called sanctuary cities.
Patrick lamented that the Legislature this year didn’t pass a measure to bar local rules that prohibit police from asking the immigration status of people they stop. A vote short this year from bringing up the bill on the Senate floor, he vowed that 2017 would be different.
“I’m totally confident that we now have the votes,” the Republican said. “I’m totally confident that one of the first measures we will pass in 2017, when we come back, will be to ban sanctuary cities in Texas.”
Over the next few months, Patrick continued to address the issue in lower profile settings; suddenly, in October, Greg Abbott made a big announcement:
Texas Governor Greg Abbott admonished Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez over her recent decision to consider honoring immigration detainers on a “case-by-case” basis. The governor said sanctuary city policies like this will “no longer be tolerated in Texas.”

Governor Abbott wrote the tersely worded letter to Sheriff Valdez after her decision to scale back on honoring immigration detainers sent to her jail by the federal government’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Her announcement was reported by Breitbart Texas on October 12.

“’Sanctuary City’ policies like those promoted by your recent decision to implement your own case-by-case immigrant detention plan will no longer be tolerated in Texas,” Abbott began in his letter attached below. “Your decision to not fully honor U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) requests to detain criminal immigrants poses a serious danger to Texans. These detainers provide ICE with the critical notice and time it needs to take incarcerated immigrants into federal custody.”

“Your refusal to fully participate in a federal law enforcement program intended to keep dangerous criminals off the streets leaves the State no choice but to take whatever actions are necessary to protect our fellow Texans,” Abbott continued. “Now more than ever, it is essential that state, federal, and local law enforcement work collaboratively to protect our fellow Texans and to ensure that our laws are upheld, not disregarded.”
Suddenly, the Texas Legislature's  participation trophy caucus was forced to weigh in:
Members of the Texas Conservative Coalition sent Governor Abbott a letter of support for his position on sanctuary city policies, prompted by Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez’ new policy on immigrant detentions.
Following that, it now looks like a MAJORITY of legislators support ending Sanctuary Cities:
A majority of lawmakers in both the Texas House and Senate back Gov. Greg Abbott's recent moves to rein in "sanctuary cities" that don't comply fully with federal immigration policies.
As conservative lawmakers continue to press for a special session on the issue, The Texas Tribune has confirmed that a majority of state representatives support Abbott's crackdown against sanctuary cities.
A letter sent to Abbott by the Texas Conservative Coalition on Oct. 28 contained signatures from 43 representatives, and another 14 state representatives have since added their names. At least another 19 representatives also support the measures according to responses to emails or calls from the Tribune, surpassing a majority of the 150-member body.
Bottom Line: Recent developments suggest there's a good chance sanctuary cities legislation will finally pass the Texas Legislature next session; in the event that happens, conservatives will have Dan Patrick to thank.

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