The End of Sanctuary Cities?

Blog / August 21, 2008

Sanctuary cities have been a longstanding hurdle in the battle for immigration reform. But if two good Texans have their way, all that will change.

Two conservative lawmakers, State Rep. Frank Corte (R-San Antonio) and State Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston), have asked Attorney General Greg Abbott for opinions on the legality of several tough measures designed to fight illegal immigration.

One would allow the state to pull the business licenses of companies which hire illegals. Another would ban cities from having so called ‘Sanctuary City’ laws on the books.

Both Houston and Austin have ‘Sanctuary" laws in place, which forbid local police from inquiring about a suspect, victim, or witnesses immigration status. Supporters of "Sanctuary Laws" say if witnesses and victims are afraid of being deported, they won’t come forward, and crime will go unpunished.

Illegal immigration laws were introduced in the 2007 session, including measures which would require that landlords not rent apartments to illegals. But they all failed, after Abbott ruled the measures would violate federal law, or the U.S. Constitution.

In their letter to the Attorney General requesting the opinion, Corte and Patrick cite a law in Oklahoma which forbids "Sanctuary Cities" there.

Remember, immigration reform is about securing the borders, protecting human life and preventing the exploitation of workers by the employers who hire them. A lot needs to be done to correct the problem and ending the existence of "Sanctuary Cities" is a good start.