On Sanctuaries, Texas and California Head in Opposite Directions

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

May 11, 2017

From the wishful thinking file – if only California would adopt the realistic approach Texas has taken to abolish sanctuary cities, then both states would be safer from criminal aliens.

Study in Contrasts:
Calif. Senate Pro-Tem President Kevin de Leon willing to release criminal aliens;

Texas governor promotes public safety with anti-sanctuary bill.

In separate news interviews, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick reiterated their support of and confidence in Senate Bill 4 which would allow Texas law enforcement to inquire about the immigration status of anyone caught during a criminal act.

SB 4, the nation’s toughest anti-sanctuary bill, also would allow for penalizing by fine and/or jail any police chief, sheriff or mayor who failed to follow federal immigration law. Gov. Abbott said the fines could reach $25,000 daily. Last year, Gov. Abbott demanded that newly elected Travis Country Sheriff Sally Hernandez reverse her non-cooperation policy or risk losing state money. When Hernandez defied Gov. Abbott, he authorized withholding $1.5 million in state funding.

For his part, Lt. Gov. Patrick took direct aim at advocates who allege that sanctuary cities are safer than non-sanctuaries, and cited Department of Homeland Security statistics to prove his point:

“Just for Texas, since 2011 through January of this year, we’ve arrested over 212,000 criminal aliens. We’ve charged them with over 566,000 crimes, including 1,143 murders, 6,000 sexual assaults and 67,000 drug offenses, 67,000 burglaries, over 500 kidnappings. So when you hear people say sanctuary cities makes cities safer, they’re absolutely wrong.”

Reinforcing a point that CAPS has continuously made, Lt. Gov. Patrick noted that Hispanics, like most residents, support strict immigration law enforcement. More than 50 percent of Texas’ Hispanic voters cast their ballots for the Abbott-Patrick ticket.

At the complete opposite end of the ideological spectrum, California’s SB 54 would block local and state police from collecting immigration status data and from responding to a federal detainer request. SB 54 would convert the entire state into a sanctuary that would make public schools, libraries, hospitals and courthouses into no-go zones for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

SB 4 is expected to reach Gov. Abbott’s desk and be signed into law within a few days. But SB 54 must be stopped. Go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to tell the Assembly not to release dangerous aliens like Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, Kate Steinle’s murderer, back onto the streets.

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