How to debate sanctuary cities with a liberal! Part 1

December 14, 2017

Have you chewed off all your nails yet? We’re still in nail-biting suspense, waiting for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on Senate Bill 4 (SB 4). That’s not just some boring ol’ bill—SB 4 is what’s popularly known as the sanctuary city law.

The law to end sanctuary cities in Texas was passed back in June and was supposed to go into full effect the first of September. However, Judge Garcia of the U.S. District Court stepped in and blocked parts of the law, calling it “unconstitutionally vague.” Governor Abbot, backed by Texas State Attorney General Paxton, vowed to appeal the ruling so that the law could take full effect. SB 4 has the support of Attorney General Sessions and President Trump, who are trying to ban sanctuary cities across the nation.

It’s now up to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The appeals case was brought before them about a month ago. Will they rule that SB 4 can go into full effect? Only time will tell.

Instead of twiddling your thumbs awaiting their decision though, why not get prepared to defend SB 4 so you’re ready the next time you get in a discussion with a liberal? This 4-part series on sanctuary cities will help you with that!

Please stick with me for just a minute while I cover the definition of “sanctuary city” so we’re all on the same page moving forward.

Although there’s not really a legal or unified definition for sanctuary cities or jurisdictions, the generally agreed upon definition is that they’re cities that choose to not always cooperate with detainer requests made by the federal government. For example, someone’s jail time could be up or bail posted, but federal immigration enforcement agents could ask local police to keep that person in jail longer until they can finish checking immigration status. That way, if they find out the person is here illegally, they can come and deport the person. Sanctuary cities don’t always follow that instruction—they basically refuse to hold people in custody beyond their release date, even if the federal government tells them to.

Additionally, sanctuary cities are cities that don’t permit local city or county funds to go toward enforcing federal immigration laws and typically, these cities don’t permit police to ask about people’s immigration status.

Attorney General Sessions tried to give a more specific definition of sanctuary cities. He said the term “sanctuary jurisdiction” will refer only to jurisdictions that “willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373.” Okay, but what’s 8 U.S.C 1373? That federal statute requires cities not to prohibit or restrict government entities or officials from communicating with the Department of Homeland Security about people’s citizenship or immigration status. So that means sanctuary cities are cities that willfully prohibit or restrict communications with the Department of Homeland Security regarding immigration.

How then does SB 4 prevent such sanctuary cities? It states that local entities, such as officers and sheriffs, and campus police, cannot adopt, enforce, or endorse a policy that will prohibit or materially limit the enforcement of immigration laws. SB 4 also declares that law enforcement agencies must comply with, honor, and fulfill detainer requests made by the federal government.

SB 4 seems like a no-brainer. It doesn’t sound very controversial…so why is it? Keep a look out for another email next week, and we’ll start digging into the issues together.

In Service,

Gary Gates
President and Founder
Texas Citizens Coalition

Gary Gates started the non-profit Texas Citizens Coalition because he has a passion for individual liberty and preserving the Constitution, and it’s a fight he’s engaged in with every facet of his life. He believes a coalition is needed because it takes all of us being actively involved to move our state and country forward. We as citizens must stay informed because We the People are in charge and must hold government accountable. Gary desires to provide Texas citizens a free resource to get useful information about state government from a conservative perspective.

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