A perennial enemy of conservative reform, State Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth) is diluting serious sanctuary city reforms strongly backed by both Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
Authored by State Sen. Charles Perry (R–Lubbock), SB 4 would defund sanctuary cities and require law enforcement officials to cooperate with federal authorities. The legislation passed the Texas Senate along party lines earlier last month, but had been languishing on Straus’ desk.
Now, however, the legislation is moving through the House Committee on State Affairs.
Last week, Geren presented a copy of the legislation that he has diluted beyond recognition with help from State Rep. Byron Cook (R–Corsicana), the chairman of the committee.
The hearing began early, ran well into the night, and consisted of mostly testimony from liberal activists opposed to the law and repeated instances of Geren rolling over in order to appease liberal Democrats.
The most notable change in Geren’s revised bill regards inquiry into the legal status of individuals in Texas, and would only be allowed for individuals under arrest, as opposed to arrested or detained individuals, as specified in the Senate’s version of the bill.
Furthermore, the House bill would allow college campuses to implement “sanctuary campus policies,” another item prevented in the legislation that passed the State Senate.
Throughout the duration of the long and contentious committee hearing, State Rep. Oscar Longoria (D–Mission) complemented Geren for working with him and other Democrats, and for personally meeting with him in private to discuss revisions to the bill.
Likewise, Geren expressed his desire to continue to work alongside Democrats on revising the bill to their liking.
Texans should demand that House Republican lawmakers support Gov. Abbott and the Texas Senate and pass serious, meaningful restrictions on sanctuary cities.