Legislative Update: Texas House Passes Sanctuary Cities Bill
RPT - Today the Texas House passed HB 12, the Sanctuary Cities bill, by a vote of 100-47 on third reading. This bill allows cities and law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws by preventing local policies in conflict with U.S. immigration laws and by establishing uniform, consistent standards for all Texas law enforcement. The sanctuary cities bill has been one of the RPT's priority legislation items this session, and we applaud our Republican legislators for this vote.
Hispanic Republican Caucus member Representative Jose Aliseda (R-Beeville) voted in favor of HB 12 today, and afterwards spoke about the importance of the legislation. "Today the Texas House passed HB 12 which would prohibit local governmental entities from enacting policies that prohibit them from enforcing federal law. The penalty for those that enact such policies is possible loss of state funding. As a legal Mexican immigrant who understands that the American Dream must be protected, I was proud to support and vote for this legislation. The reality is that this bill simply puts Texas teeth on federal law which was signed by President Clinton in 1996. Texas voters in 2010 spoke loud and clear and the Texas House Republicans listened. Despite all the rhetoric, HB 12 is good policy and good for Texas."
Said RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri, "The United States and Texas is a land of immigrants from a variety of backgrounds. This diversity is a strength of our country. However, it is important that immigration be legal so as to accomplish two major objectives. The first is fairness, so that people who play by the rules are not penalized and the second is a matter of national security. The RPT has as one of its major priorities, to pass legislation that helped address the illegal immigration and open border problem. We are grateful to the House leadership and our Republican representatives who passed this landmark piece of legislation as the first of what we hope to be many steps to provide a reasonable solution to this issue. I would like to thank Rep. Burt Solomons for his leadership on HB 12 and for steadily guiding this bill through debate. I also thank Governor Rick Perry for his strong stance on this legislation, after naming it one of his emergency legislative items for the session."
House Bill 12 now moves to the Texas Senate for consideration. Senator Tommy Williams has been leading the issue in that chamber, and the RPT will continue to keep you informed on its progress.