Diary

Texas Divide: Illegal Immigration and Sanctuary Cities

No single issue so clearly divides the people from the cartel of Democrats and liberal Republicans in the Texas House than confronting illegal immigration and banning sanctuary cities.

The Empower Texans PAC recently commissioned a professional poll on policy issues. The poll found that no issue was more important with GOP voters than banning sanctuary cities.

This past week, Gov. Greg Abbott came out swinging. Specifically, he attacked the policy of Dallas County’s sheriff to stop working with federal immigration enforcement officials.

“‘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 wrote in a public letter.

Abbott said the legislature must address the issue. The Texas Senate has been charged by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick with doing just that.

On the other hand, the Texas House is set to keep appeasing the amnesty advocates — despite 98 Republicans in the 150-seat chamber!

Despite strong sentiments from constituents, the issue is still doomed in the House — where the liberal coalition structure has allowed amnesty supporters’ “best friend” State Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana) to kill measures aimed at curbing illegal immigration.

Cook, with the blessing of liberal House Speaker Joe Straus (R–San Antonio), has instead pursued legislation allowing Texas to issue drivers’ permits to illegal aliens.

This past session, State Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Frisco) filed HB 4117 – a ban on sanctuary cities. Like other reforms Straus wanted quashed, the bill was routed to the State Affairs Committee, where Cook killed it.

This isn’t the first time Texas had the opportunity to bring an end to this problem — Straus and Cook killed similar legislation back in 2011 — in a special session specifically called for action on sanctuary cities.

If your legislator is supporting the re-election of Byron Cook and Joe Straus, they are guaranteeing the defeat of immigration reform measures. Any legislator who supports Straus and Cook is, by definition, opposing a ban on sanctuary cities.