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Texas House approves “sanctuary cities” bill

Friday, April 28, 2017 by Nina Hernandez

The Texas House of Representatives’ debate on the state’s “sanctuary cities” bill – Senate Bill 4 – raged on well into Wednesday night. After fending off hordes of amendments, Republicans were able to pass the proposal punishing jurisdictions that choose to limit cooperation with federal immigration officials yesterday. The final vote was 94-53. In a conference call Thursday, the ACLU of Texas condemned the “draconian state legislation” that it said would increase instances of racial profiling, damage public safety and tie law enforcement hands. City Council Member Greg Casar added, “The Legislature is attempting to blackmail cities into violating our residents’ constitutional rights. We must not comply with this unconstitutional, discriminatory and dangerous mandate. We will fight this bill to the end — at City Hall, in the courts, and protesting in the streets.” On Wednesday, Mayor Steve Adler, who was in Washington, D.C., earlier this week, said he was told by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that Austin isn’t technically a “sanctionable” city by federal standards. Adler also said he suspected the law, if passed, would quickly draw a legal challenge.

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