If it isn’t Islamophobia, it’s Hispanophobia.
Before the protests end against what President Trump himself originally called a “Muslim ban,” Texas is talking about passing an immigration enforcement law that would go far beyond banning “sanctuary cities.”
A Texas Senate committee spent 12 hours hearing testimony from about 100 Texans before voting 7-2 to pass Senate Bill 4, a tougher version of past failed bills that originally only allowed state and local law officers to ask anyone’s federal civil immigration status.
Past bills simply gave police more freedom. This year’s gives them less.
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This year, author Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, and co-authors including local Sens. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, and Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, want to force county deputies, city and university police to fulfill any request for help from federal civil immigration officials, regardless how optional, irrelevant or costly.
If forcing local police to help enforce federal civil rules sounds fine with you, imagine if the president were a Democrat and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wanted help rounding up guns.
There’s a reason county deputies, city and university police don’t automatically get involved in civil matters. We fund local law enforcement to fight crime and keep us safe and secure, not to handle federal regulations or get tangled up in Washington’s paperwork.
There is no rampant “sanctuary cities” problem in Texas, anyway. Based on a Texas Tribune study of statistics from 2014 to 2015, we’re talking about a statewide average of only seven foreign nationals per month who were released from custody before federal review of their immigration status.
¡Calma amigos! (Calm down, friends!) If you are a victim … we don’t care about your immigration status.
Fort Worth police officer Daniel Segura on Facebook
(Half were in Travis County. None was in Tarrant County, where new Sheriff Bill Waybourn plans to train some jail deputies to help handle federal immigration work.)
Most of the frenzy over criminal illegal immigrants is politically induced mania, the result of a presidential campaign fueled in part by an ethnic nationalist faction that blames foreigners for America’s ills.
A “sanctuary city” is one that resists or defies federal immigration enforcement. (A Texas Senate bill would go further, requiring counties, cities and universities to actively help.)
Even Fort Worth police officer Daniel Segura was the target of abuse Thursday after he posted a heartfelt Facebook video telling residents in Spanish “¡Calma amigos!” (“Calm down, friends!”): “If you are a victim of a crime, we don’t care about your immigration status.”
As the video neared 1 million views, Mayor Betsy Price and the department rushed to announce that Fort Worth is not a sanctuary city and “follows” federal laws.
But we don’t want police forced to follow federal orders.