In the light of anti-immigration rhetoric during the mid-term elections and the ongoing political debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has proposed to take away the language of “sanctuary cities”.
Sanctuary cities are the cities that provide “sanctuary” from police officers enforcing immigration laws, prohibiting them from enforcing immigration policies as part of their policing efforts. There are several cities in Texas that are considered to be sanctuary cities, including San Antonio, Houston and El Paso.
However, Gov. Perry has not named any sanctuary cities, making contradictory remarks on his stance on immigration reform. Recently, 30 bills were filed in Texas legislature concerning a lot of talking points issues regarding immigration. Some of the items at the forefront of the legislature session are state services, immigration records, fees for money transactions, deeming English the official language, and redistricting.
Gov. Perry has deemed the selection of sanctuary cities as an emergency priority item, and by doing so will push the issue in front of other issues. Sanctuary cities are a large part of the Texas Republican platform that opposes amnesty to immigrants in any form, a position offensive to much of the Texas population. In 2009, it had been reported that Hispanics or Latinos make up at least 36.9 percent of the Texas population.
It is uncertain when the term “sanctuary city” came about, but more and more cities across the country, such as Detroit and 30 other cities, are standing behind the “don’t ask, don’t tell” practice of police enforcement not subjecting its citizens to the question of their immigration status. It is suggested that the notion of sanctuary cities came about when churches started providing aid to migrant workers who fled from the 1980s civil war in Central America.
Technically, sanctuary cities go against the grain of the 9/11 Commission Report, yet training and support at state and local levels is still lacking and municipalities are having a hard time with allocating resources to enforce immigration policies and to blatantly go against civil right policies. Gov. Perry is being criticized by his peers for making sanctuary cities an emergency issue, rather than Texas’ budgetary issues that can affect Texas schools and the Texas public health system.
A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at http://www.visatous.com.