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Texas House Passes "sanctuary City" Bill 

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Old 05-10-2011, 11:10 AM
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Texas House Passes "sanctuary City" Bill

Texas House Passes 'Sanctuary Cities' Bill

Updated: Tuesday, 10 May 2011, 8:02 AM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 10 May 2011, 8:02 AM CDT

JAY ROOT, Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — After an emotional and sometimes racially explosive debate, the Texas House passed a bill Monday night that would allow local police officers to help enforce federal immigration laws — even if their supervisors don't want them to.

The House approved the measure 100-47 after Republicans moved to cut off all debate on the issue, using used a parliamentary maneuver that allows the majority to ram through bills. The bill faces a final procedural hurdle in the house before it can move to the Senate.

Republicans have been anxious to approve the legislation to show their conservative backers they are serious about cracking down on illegal immigration. The so-called "sanctuary cities" bill, declared an emergency legislative item by Republican Gov. Rick Perry, would give most police officers the right to question detained people about their immigration status. Their bosses would be prevented from adopting policies that prohibit rank-and-file officers from asking about it.

Supporters say it's needed to stop crime committed by illegal immigrants. Critics say it would lead to racial profiling, detract from real police work and allow rogue agents to harass Hispanics.

"Now you'll get stopped for driving while Mexican," said Rep. Rene Oliveira, D-Brownsville. "We know that there are people out there who will do racial profiling. ... Now they're going to have a blanket amnesty to do it."

Lawmakers first debated the bill on Friday, but Democrats found technical flaws. After allowing a few minor changes, leaders cut off debate and passed the bill — getting rid of about 30 proposed amendments in the process.

Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, took offense at the suggestion that people who supported the bill were motivated by racial fears.

"I don't have a racist bone in my body," said Berman. "We have Hispanic government in San Antonio. We have many Hispanic police officers."

Rep. Jose Aliseda, a Mexican immigrant who rose to become a Republican legislator, accused Democrats of "grandstanding" and said he had "brown skin" but was not afraid to give police more authority to police in immigration matters.

Republican Rep. Burt Solomons, author of the bill, said it would prohibit communities and law enforcement entities from adopting policies that keep police and criminal investigators from providing immigration enforcement assistance. He helped tack on softening amendments that would provide a limited exemption for hospitals and school districts.

Police officers who work for hospitals or school districts would still be given authority to help enforce immigration law.

"The bill is a prohibition against policies, not a requirement to do anything," Solomons said.

Many sheriffs and city police chiefs have criticized the bill, saying they are already helping officials prosecute and deport illegal immigrants but don't want more mandates from the state. Other critics said the bill could allow local police agencies to become de-facto immigration enforcement agents and let rank-and-file officers spend all the time they want enforcing immigration laws no matter what managers want.

An estimated 1.6 million illegal immigrants are in Texas, according to the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington. Nationwide, their numbers declined between 2007 and 2009, from 12 million to 11.1 million, the first significant drop after two decades of growth. But their combined population in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana went up by a statistically significant 240,000, the center reported last month.

Immigration curbs have caught fire nationwide. In 2010, a record number of laws and resolutions were passed by state legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which calculated that 46 states and the District of Columbia had passed 346 measures, with an additional 10 having fallen from gubernatorial vetoes.

Beyond the particulars of the bill, the use of the parliamentary maneuver by Republican leaders sparked widespread complaints from Democrats. Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, said the GOP would come to regret flexing its strength to stifle objections. It was the second time in three days that Republicans used the maneuver, referred to as calling the "previous question," to push through a controversial bill.

"The votes are there to pass this bill without cutting off the debate," Gallego said. "We really should give people an opportunity to fully vent, to fully talk."

Rep. Larry Taylor, chairman of the House Republicans, said Texas voters gave his party a supermajority — 101 of 150 members to be exact — to enact a conservative agenda.

"We've been very patient but we have things that we have to get done this session," Taylor said. "(The Democrats) are just very talented at dragging things out for inordinate amounts of time."

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Old 05-10-2011, 11:45 AM
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Re: Texas House Passes "sanctuary City" Bill

Its about god damn time...

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Old 05-10-2011, 10:50 PM
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Re: Texas House Passes "sanctuary City" Bill

look into the "immigration laws in mexico".....interesting stuff....

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Old 05-12-2011, 05:40 AM
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Re: Texas House Passes "sanctuary City" Bill

proctect your borders,nothing wrong with that

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Old 05-13-2011, 06:29 AM
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Re: Texas House Passes "sanctuary City" Bill

Interesting Post

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