YCT begins ad blitz on Speaker Joe Straus’s efforts to prevent Sanctuary City ban

Press Releases / February 17, 2016


February 17, 2016

Contact: Jeff Morris, State Chairman
Mobile: (512) 843-1980
Email: [email protected]

Austin, TX — Today, Young Conservatives of Texas, one of the state’s oldest and most respected conservative organizations, released television and radio spots exposing Joe Straus and his involvement in killing legislation that would have banned sanctuary cities in Texas.

The emotional and powerful ads feature the story of Dan Golvach, the father of Spencer Paul Golvach, a 25 year-old Texan who was brutally murdered on January 31, 2015 by Victor Reyes, an illegal alien who had been convicted of violent crimes, served time in federal prison for those crimes, and had been deported from the United States on four occasions. Reyes was hiding in Houston, under the city’s “sanctuary city” policy when he murdered Golvach.

In the commercial, Dan Golvach tells the heartbreaking story of the loss of his son and blames Texas House Speaker Joe Straus for his murder.

Jeff Morris, Chairman of Young Conservatives of Texas, said, “Speaker Straus and his hand-picked lieutenants have consistently thwarted conservative efforts to ban sanctuary cities in Texas. This legislation, if passed, could have prevented Reyes from going undetected by law enforcement officials.”

In 2011, a bill to ban sanctuary cities passed the Texas Senate, but died in the Straus-led Texas House, and in the 2013 special session, no conservative immigration bills made it out of a House committee.

While reform languished in 2013, a resolution did pass out of the House State Affairs committee—supporting President Barack Obama’s amnesty plan. According to a Houston Chronicle article, Straus was in support of the White House’s amnesty push.[1]

Further, some bills on the liberal side of the issue, bills that would make it easier for illegal immigrants to remain in Texas, advanced, but they were ultimately blocked by conservative lawmakers.

In fact, Mark Jones, the Rice University political science professor who studies legislative action, attributed the failure of legislation ending sanctuary city policies to Joe Straus.

“Joe Straus did not move a single piece of immigration reform during the 82nd legislature, squandering a supermajority of Republicans,” said Morris. “Speaker Straus had a Republican supermajority that could have passed the Senate’s version of sanctuary city legislation during the special session, and refusing to do so was in direct opposition to the will of the majority of members in the Texas House,” Morris added.  “Had Joe Straus not blocked this important legislation, Spencer Golvach and other Texans like him might be alive today.”

Following the latest session of the Texas legislature, liberal Democratic State Representative Roberto Alonzo went on the record praising Straus for having killed sanctuary city legislation.

“As Speaker of the Texas House, Joe Straus has failed to protect the people of Texas from dangerous criminals like Victor Reyes,” said Morris. “Not only has he failed to speak out in favor of a ban on sanctuary cities, he has appointed committee chairs like State Affairs Committee Chair Byron Cook, who not only are vehemently opposed to a sanctuary cities ban in Texas, but who use their position of authority to kill such legislation.”

“Speaker Straus can’t have it both ways. He can’t take credit for conservative legislation passed by the Texas House while claiming no responsibility when conservative legislation flounders on his watch,” Morris said.

“As the people of District 121 head to the polls to choose those who will lead our state and nation, they need to know about Joe Straus’s failed record of leadership on the life and death issue of sanctuary cities,” said Morris. “It is our hope that they will think of Spencer Golvach before casting a vote for Joe Straus,” Morris concluded.

[1] Speaker Joe Straus setting the agenda for Texas – and moving Republicans forward, (“Texas House Speaker Joe Straus recently voiced support for immigration reform measures endorsed by the White House that included a pathway to citizenship for those already in the country illegally.”), http://blog.chron.com/bakerblog/2011/06/the-demise-of-%E2%80%9Csanctuary-cities%E2%80%9D-legislation-a-gop-debacle-or-success/

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 21 legislative sessions. For more information about YCT, please visit 


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