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Texas at Risk: Illegal Immigration, Sanctuary Cities

High Cost of Ignoring the Rule of Law

by JoAnn Fleming –Chair, Citizen Advisory Committee to the Texas Legislature’s TEA Party Caucus

Executive Director (volunteer), Grassroots America – We the People

While you were watching the out-of-control spending, new federal regulations, and national debt dramas play out in Washington, DC, your state legislature failed in the regular session (January – May) and in the special session (June) to end sanctuary cities in Texas.  As the Republican leadership of the Texas House and Senate played political games to run out the clock, Alabama, South Carolina, and Louisiana joined a growing list of states whose legislatures and governors took decisive action to protect their citizens and legal immigrants.  Texas now sits in the shadow of those “rule of law” states.   

Photo Courtesy of KETX

“Sanctuary” is a term used to identify a city or county that follows certain practices to protect illegal immigrants.  The practices employed to ignore the rule of law come by way of local ordinances or simply by habit.  The elected officials presiding over these safe harbors do not allow local law enforcement to inquire about legal status while enforcing other laws, nor do they allow government employees to inquire about legal status while doling out taxpayer-funded services.

While border security is indeed a federal issue, the interior enforcement of the rule of law is very much a state matter. It is the constitutional responsibility of a state to protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizens and legal residents.

Why should the sanctuary cities issue matter to you?  

1) Sanctuary cities can harbor illegals that represent a national security threat.  Those who are a threat to this country naturally gravitate to places where they feel safest from the rule of law.

2) Sanctuary cities harbor people who are a threat to the lives of citizens and legal immigrants.  Too many law enforcement officers, citizens, and legal immigrants have lost their lives at the hands of illegals.  See the Remembrance Project website:  http://theremembranceproject.org/Sanctuary

3) Sanctuary cities are strong magnets for those who come here to exploit the social safety net for free health care and all manner of taxpayer-funded government hand-outs.  These sanctuaries are magnets for those who want to work under the radar, and they enable businesses that want to employ cheap labor.

4) Sanctuary cities allow Mexico and other foreign countries to exploit the United States and our lack of enforcement of the rule of law.

Finally, any policy that gives safe harbor to illegal immigration escalates state spending.    According to a January 2011 report published by the highly regarded Texas Public Policy Foundation, the price tag for Medicaid in Texas will soon overtake the cost of everything else in our budget – including education.  Read the Foundation’s research:  Texas Public Policy Foundation

In a June 28 meeting with Governor Perry, we asked him to call the legislature back into a special session to address the sanctuary cities issue, or since it is a law enforcement issue, settle the matter with an executive order.  Will Governor Perry ride in to save the day? Or is he satisfied to sit in the shadow of “law and order” states?  His white horse is saddled up and waiting.


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