The Texas House passed a tough anti-sanctuary bill containing provisions making it a crime for sheriffs and chiefs of police to refuse to cooperate with immigration officials. They could also be removed from office for providing “sanctuary” for the criminal illegal aliens in their jails.
Senate Bill 4 finally passed the Texas House Thursday afternoon by a vote of 94-53 along party lines.
Following the bill’s final passage in the House, the Texas House Republican Caucus sent out a statement saying the bill ensure federal immigration laws that are on the books will be followed and enforced in Texas. The caucus stated the bill prevents local entities from creating policies that threaten public safety.
“The purpose of this legislation is 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, ” said House Administration Committee Chairman Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth). “This bill will not affect law abiding citizens, only those that are in trouble with the police.”
Caucus Chairman Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound), said, “House Republicans have proven time and time again that we are committed to protecting the rule of law and keeping our communities safe. We will continue to work tirelessly to pass legislation that ensures the safety of Texans, such as Senate Bill 4.”
The crime imposed would be a Class A misdemeanor for not complying with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers.
The measure was passed by the Texas Senate in early February.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has steadfastly said that he would sign the bill and has pushed for its passage. It would go into effect on September 1.
Texas sheriffs and other law enforcement officials were at the anti-sanctuary jurisdiction (Senate Bill 4) protest at the Texas Capitol on Wednesday, including Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez. Representatives from the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement officials were also there with DREAMers and other supporters of illegal immigrants, reported Breitbart Texas.
— TRUSTCoalitionTX (@TRUSTCoalition) April 26, 2017
When asked about whether he could be put in jail, Harris County Sheriff Gonzalez replied, “I guess potentially they could if we aren’t in compliance.”
— Miya Shay (@miyashay) April 27, 2017
The Houston-area sheriff added that he thought the legislature was going down a “slippery slope” when passing a law that would meet out criminal sanctions when dealing with immigration programs, “Some of which are voluntary in nature.” Gonzalez said those who elected the law enforcement officials should be able to determine if they are doing a good job.
Gonzalez reportedly told those gathered at the rally that Senate Bill 4 will make local communities more dangerous and is bad public policy.