FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/12/2011
Rep. Walle Responds to Passage of Divisive "Sanctuary Cities" Bill
AUSTIN -- Today State Representative Armando Walle (Houston) released the following statement in response to the passage of House Bill 12, the so-called "sanctuary cities" bill:
"House Bill 12 isn't about sanctuary cities. This bill is a response to the perception that federal immigration laws are going unenforced. But in reality, Texas leads the nation in deportations through the federal Secure Communities partnership.
H.B. 12 will take away local control from local law enforcement agencies. It will prohibit police chiefs and sheriffs from disciplining officers who fail to do their assigned duties and instead focus on immigration enforcement. In other words, this bill would prohibit local law enforcement from setting their own public safety priorities. Because of this, one police chief went so far as to say that H.B. 12 could help the drug cartels.
This bill has often been compared to Arizona's Senate Bill 1070, but H.B. 12 goes further by intruding into our children's schools. The House voted to table an amendment that would have excluded school-based law enforcement from the provisions of the bill. But instead, this bill will require schoolchildren to produce immigration papers in addition to their homework.
Limiting debate on this bill, which clearly elicited strong emotions on both sides of the aisle, is dishonest democracy. If supporters of this bill have the votes to get it passed, then they shouldn't have to suppress debate to do it."
Rep. Armando Walle is serving his second term in the Texas House of Representatives and serves on the House Committee on Insurance and the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety. He represents House District 140, which includes northern portions of unincorporated Harris County and the City of Houston.
Contact: Laura Martin