A group of self-described conservative Republicans are praising Gov. Abbott for his recent statements about sanctuary cities, but some Republican members are conspicuously missing.

The Texas Conservative Coalition (“TCC”) – a caucus including many but not all Republican Texas House and Senate members – released a letter Monday praising Abbott for his stand against Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez’s new policy on immigration detentions.

Notably, the following TCC House members were missing from the letter:

Trent Ashby, Travis Clardy, Byron Cook, John Cyrier, Rick Galindo, Bryan Hughes, Mark Keough, Susan King, Stephanie Klick, Will Metcalf, Morgan Meyer, Geanie Morrison, Andrew Murr, Scott Turner, Gary VanDeaver, Bill Zedler

In addition, one Senator who is a TCC member, Sen. Charles Schwertner (R–Georgetown) also did not sign the letter.

So called “sanctuary cities” are cities in which liberal city councils have adopted policies instructing city employees – including police – not to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in deporting illegal aliens.

The members signing the letter praised recent comments by Abbott in which he stated his desire for the state to prohibit cities from adopting sanctuary city policies. The letter-signers pledged to be “available to assist [Abbott’s] office” and “prepared to take legislative action when the time comes.”

It is unknown why the various members were not on the letter. Some are retiring or running for higher office, such as Turner, Hughes, and King. Still others may have merely missed the boat on signing the letter.

At least one representative appears likely to have made a conscious choice to keep his name off the letter. State Rep. Byron Cook (R–Corsicana), Chairman of the House State Affairs Committee, has repeatedly killed legislation since 2011 that would have prohibited sanctuary cities, including during one special session called by former Gov. Rick Perry.

Meanwhile, Cook’s signature legislative priority over the past two legislative sessions has been an attempt to give drivers’ permits to illegal aliens — a telling admission of where his priorities truly lie.

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.

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