“Sanctuary Cities” Bill Goes to Texas House

The so-called “Sanctuary Cities” bill arrives in the Texas House–with a hearing before the State Affairs Committee.

“We are not forcing police to be immigration agents, or asking law enforcement to do any more than they are already required to do” State Representative Charlie Geren said of the bill–which includes several amendments he said improves the measure that was passed by the Texas Senate earlier this legislative session.

“There is language that protects the witnesses and the victims from being arrested because of immigration law” Geren said.

Fellow State Representative Rene Oliviera credited Geren with trying to make improvements over the version passed by the Texas Senate–but in the end is not convinced the bill reaches that goal.

“If people are going to be fearful because they risk deportation–they’re not going to go to clinics” Oliviera told Geren, concerned among other things about he bill’s impact on public health in Texas.

Dozens of witnesses signed up to testify before the Texas House Public Affairs Committee Wednesday–the hearing much more orderly than the one before the Texas Senate’s State Affairs Committee–which was interrupted a number of times by protesters.

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