What is expected to be a lengthy, and very emotional debate over the the so-called “Sanctuary Cities” bill is underway Wednesday in the Texas House.
Already approved by the Texas Senate, the House version contains a number of differences. It’s backer–State Rep Charlie Geren told his colleagues he decided to sponsor the measure after hearing from his constituents.
“They’re concerned with crimes that are being committed in their communities by illegals, and they think they need to go home… they’re concerned with crimes being committed in their communities by people who are here legally–and they want them to got to jail” Geren said.
However, that argument clearly fell on deaf ears among critics–who believe the measure unfairly targets immigrants–and in some cases–is nothing but racist.
“It feels very disrespectful to all of us, because it’s not about ICE detainers… it’s not about that guys” State Rep Rafael Anchia said, seemingly taking the lead of the opposition to the bill.
State Rep Rene Oliveira agreed with that sentiment.
“In my thirty-three years in the Legislature, I’ve never seen something that would discriminate as much as this” the Brownsville Representative said.
Backers however continued to insist the bill is right for Texas.
“There are people in our communities… who we care about… who feel unsafe” State Representative Jason Villalba said, adding parts of a conversation he recently had with his grandmother, who said speaks only broken English.
“I need you to take care of all of us… be damned with the political correctness of these kinds of issues” Villalba said in recounting what she told him.