FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2015
Austin, TX — Today, Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) criticized Senate Democrats for misleading Texans on the “sanctuary cities” bill (SB 185) in a press conference.
“Yesterday, Senate Democrats used a procedural technicality to delay the passage of an anti-Sanctuary Cities bill,” said YCT State Chairman Jeff Morris. “This bill should not be controversial – it simply prevents jurisdictions from blocking the enforcement of state and federal law.”
“The only reason this bill is controversial is because Democrats see it as a way to politically posture against conservatives,” continued Morris. “If this legislation told cities they could not have ordinances prohibiting the enforcement of DWI laws, this bill would face no opposition.”
After the bill’s committee hearing was delayed, Senators Jose Rodriguez, Sylvia Garcia, and Kirk Watson hosted a press conference filled with appeals to emotion and inaccurate statements about SB 185.
“The people of Texas don’t want to become Arizona,” Rodriguez said. “We don’t want to become known as the ‘show me your papers’ state.”
SB 185 borrows no language from the Arizona bill (SB 1070 (2010 – Arizona Legislature)). As drafted, the only way an officer could inquire about a person’s immigration status would be to arrest or legally detain him for a criminal offense – both actions require probable cause.
In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the right of an officer to investigate the immigration status of an individual stopped, detained, or arrested if there is reasonable suspicion that the individual is in the country illegally.
“The real problem is you may get stopped for any reason or no reason,” continued Garcia. “This will give everyone the opportunity to racially profile.”
Section (g) of Senator Perry’s bill states that officers “may not consider race, color, language, or national origin” when enforcing this statute.
Newly elected Austin City Councilman Greg Casar joined the senators at the press conference.
“There is a reason why cities each have their own police chiefs,” said Casar. “It is to work diligently on our own local issues, rather than be mandated by the state to do jobs that our constituents never asked them to do in the first place.”
Sen. Perry’s bill contains no mandates on any jurisdiction and requires nothing of individual law enforcement officers. Instead, SB 185 states that a jurisdiction cannot have a blanket policy prohibiting law enforcement from enforcing state and federal immigration laws.
“This is about public safety,” said Senator Sylvia Garcia, stating that SB 185 would hinder law enforcement.
This is an issue of public safety, but it would not hinder law enforcement. According to DPS, 145,000 criminal aliens have been booked into local Texas jails between June 2011 and December 2014. Of these, 53%, around 96,000 were identified as being in the U.S. illegally.
These crimes included 336 homicide convictions, 17,382 assault convictions, and 1,913 sexual assault convictions.
Just last month, Spencer Golvach (age 25) was shot in the head by an illegal immigrant, Victor Reyes, while sitting at a stoplight in Houston. Less than an hour later, Reyes shot 28-year-old Juan Garcia.
Court records indicate that Reyes was sentenced to five years in prison for drug dealing in 2010 and had an immigration hold upon exiting prison.
“An illegal alien randomly chose my son’s head for target practice,” said Dan Golvach, Spencer’s father, in a video posted to Senator Perry’s Facebook. “We just want to tell our story and let other Texans know about the danger that exists and the things we are made vulnerable to.”
“People are dying because of sanctuary city laws in our state,” continued YCT Chairman Jeff Morris. “It is shameful that Senate Democrats are using this issue to grandstand instead of working in a bipartisan manner to solve this public safety issue.”
Committee Chairman Brian Birdwell has re-set SB 185 for a committee hearing on Monday, March 16 at 8:00 AM in the Betty King Room on the second floor of the Texas Capitol. YCT encourages all conservatives that are able to be in Austin to attend the hearing and to testify on behalf of this bill.
Young Conservatives of Texas is a non-partisan organization that has promoted conservatism at universities across the Lone Star State for over three decades. The State’s most active political youth organization, YCT is composed of hundreds of members and alumni who participate in the full spectrum of politics. YCT issues the most respected ratings of the Texas legislature and is the only conservative group to have done so without interruption over the past 20 legislative sessions. For more information about YCT, please visit .