Sanctuary. A haven. A peaceful place of rest. Ironic, then, that the prospect of so-called "sanctuary cities" has unleashed a torrent of controversy across the nation and, most recently, in the state of Texas. A polarizing, politically-loaded topic, sanctuary cities refer to cities and towns that maintain policies that prohibit local law enforcement from upholding immigration laws and from cooperating with immigration authorities on the federal level.
An article by the Texas Tribune reported that Gov. Rick Perry has listed sanctuary cities among the emergency items that he is asking the Texas Legislature to consider during this session.
Listen to Perry discuss views on sanctuary cities below.
According to an article by the New York State Immigrant Action Fund, the legislature’s hands are tied during the first 60 days of a legislative session since the legislature cannot debate bills during that period unless Perry authorizes them to do so by declaring certain issues to be emergencies. This move enables Perry to partially fulfill a campaign promise he made to address the issue during his race against Bill White for the governorship when Perry criticized White for making Houston, according to Perry, a sanctuary city.
While many experts believe that Texas will stop short of authorizing the extensive immigration crackdowns that garnered so much criticism in Arizona, immigration reforms will likely be a contentious issue during this Texas legislative session. A summary of the bills already filed can be found here.
- Kimberly Dena