With illegal immigration and border security regularly polling – by a wide margin – as the top issues of concern for Texas Republican primary voters, liberal House Speaker Joe Straus is desperately working to mislead his constituents about his record.

Straus’s campaign recently sent a mailer to his constituents claiming that he has made border security a top priority. As primary evidence, they point to House Bills 10 and 11, which passed during the most recent session. As evidence of how aggressive the two bills were, voters might consider who supported them. HB 10 passed with unanimous approval from Democrats. Only 10 House Democrats voted against HB 11.

Here is a good rule of thumb for voters. If the party that supports Barack Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty decree supports a particular “border security” bill, it probably isn’t the cure-all its Republican authors claim it to be.

But it is a different claim – an outright lie – on Straus’ mailer that really catches the eye.

Straus Sanctuary Cities Lie

As his first bullet point, Straus claims he “approved legislation outlawing Sanctuary Cities in Texas.”

For those familiar with legislative parlance, “approved” is quite an odd word to use. If Straus had claimed he “passed” legislation, or “voted for” legislation, everyone would know exactly what he meant. Instead, he and his army of political consultants selected the word “approve” precisely because it is so mushy. They must believe that mushiness gives them a license to lie to Straus’s constituents.

In fact, Straus’s operation has killed various bills banning sanctuary cities. In 2011, when Gov. Perry put ending sanctuary cities on the call for a special session, it was the House, under Joe Straus’s control, that killed the bill after the Senate passed it.

Likewise, when Rep. Pat Fallon (R–Frisco) filed a bill banning sanctuary cities this past session, Straus referred it to the House State Affairs Committee where it was killed by Straus’s handpicked chairman. The sanctuary cities bill wasn’t even given a hearing.

Instead, the State Affairs committee passed out a bill that would have given drivers permits to illegal aliens.

Joe Straus is in the fight of his political life against two conservative challengers. He is a liberal Republican and he supports continued illegal immigration because it is favored by big businesses that enjoy paying low wages to foreign workers. But he knows he is squarely at odds with his voters, so he is lying to them in a desperate attempt to cling to power.

Tony McDonald

Tony McDonald serves as General Counsel to Texas Scorecard. A licensed and practicing attorney, Tony specializes in the areas of civil litigation, legislative lawyering, and non-profit regulatory compliance. Tony resides in Austin with his wife and daughter and attends St. Paul Lutheran Church.