Governor Greg Abbott is blasting 'fear mongerers' who he says are distorting the recently passed bill outlawing sanctuary cities in an attempt to paint it as something that damages the rights of Hispanic Texans, when in reality the opposite is true.
Abbott told 1200 WOAI's Joe Pags that claims that the bill allows police to pull Hispanic motorists over just to check their legal status is absurd, and he called out both the San Antonio City Council and Bexar County Commissioners for making that claim as they filed lawsuits attempting to block the bill.
One claim that is frequently repeated is that the bill will make the state less safe, because immigrants will be unwilling to come forward to report crimes because they are afraid they will be turned over to immigration authorities.
"We specifically safeguarded that in the legislature," he said. "If you are a victim of a crime, or you are reporting a crime, your legal status cannot be questioned."
Abbott says the while the bill does allow police to ask people they 'detain' about their immigration status, it specifically prohibits officers from pulling over motorists specifically to make that inquiry. He says that is a protection which was not in Texas law before the anti Sanctuary bill was approved, and is something opponents of the bill conveniently forget in their rush to criticize it.
Abbott says it is important that law abiding Texans be protected against illegal immigrant 'predators,' like the man who murdered San Francisco resident Kate Steinle. Abbott said the same lies and falsehoods are being raised by people anxious to criticize the proposed 'bathroom bill,' which he has placed on the agenda for the upcoming Special Session.
Abbott says the bill does not restrict the rights of anybody, in fact, in increases the rights of people of all genders to have privacy when using public and school restrooms and locker rooms.
"It is all the fear mongers who are raising up a whole lot of arguments which are absolutely false, about what this legislation seeks to achieve" he said. "All this legisltion seeks to achieve is protecting the safety and security of everyone."
He says there are far more people who have been forced against their will to shower and use the restroom alongside somebody of another gender than transgender individuals who have somehow been 'denied' their right to 'use the rest room that matches their sexual identity.
Abbott says as the bathroom bill is now worded, it doesn't mention bathrooms at all, much to the chagrin of opponents. All it does is block local governments from approving their own 'non discrimination ordinances.'
"It is going to be up to the state of Texas up to a multiplicity, a patchwork quilt of laws and schemes across the state."