By Sam Madden
With Texas passing SB4, the bill to ban sanctuary cities within Texas we have seen our community get even more divided.
Many say that the bill is racist and xenophobic, even though there is an anti-discrimination clause within the bill, (Sec. 752.054). So this appears to be fear mongering from those that opposed the bill.
The other issue that is constantly brought up is that that people in the country illegally will go into the shadows. They will be afraid to call the police, or other emergency services. This can already be seen as The National Domestic Violence Hotline saw a 30% jump in calls related to immigration issues since 2015. Many calls were from people that are under domestic abuse and their abusers tell them there is nothing they can do because if they report they will be deported.
This is a genuine concern, but this is also addressed in Texas’ legislation. Under Sec. 752.057 Community Outreach: Those that report crimes, are victims of crimes, those that are witnesses to crimes, etc. are not allowed to have their immigration status inquired upon by any law enforcement official. The only exceptions would be for extraneous circumstances in order to provide information and referral to a visa program so the person witnessing the crime, victim of the crime, etc. has additional protections in the United States
We as Americans don’t want criminals hiding in sanctuary cities, but we also don’t want good people to be victims of abuse, extortion, and other things that arise when they don’t feel that they can call authorities for help.
Are sanctuary cities a good idea or a bad one? Is there a compromise to be had? What about the Texas Bill banning sanctuary cities that was just signed by Governor Abbott. Is this bill a good idea? Does this bill achieve any of the goals outlined above? Does it go too far?
Let me hear your thoughts on sanctuary cities and the Texas bill. Also when referring to the bill please quote the section of the bill you are concerned with or agree with and why. The more educated we are, the more we talk with each other, the better we can make things for everyone.
The full bill can be reviewed here:
Sam Madden is a volunteer representative and consultant for the Center For Pluralism. He can be reached at Sam@centerforpluralism.com