State Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) has field a measure to repeal the controversial 2017 state law banning so called 'Sanctuary Cities,' News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"It tears apart families, it creates fear, it separates us from law enforcement," Menendez said of the law, dubbed S.B. 4.
The Sanctuary City ban was perhaps the most controversial measure approved by the 2017 session, and it has so far been upheld in the courts. It requires local governments to cooperate with the Border Patrol, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in investigations, and in promptly turning over people in county jails who was flagged for departation as illegal immigrants.
San Antonio is being sued by the Texas Attorney General for violating SB 4. Police Chief Bill McManus was accused of ignoring requests by ICE to hand over a dozen illegal immigrants who were packed in the back of an 18 wheeler that was pulled over by officers on I-35 near Splashtown. McManus denies that he violated SB 4, saying the immigrants were 'victims' of a smuggler, who was arrested, and they were properly turned over to immigrant rights groups.
Immigrant rights groups rallied on the steps of the state Capitol to support Menendez' bill.
"They didn't blink of eye when reports of inhumane conditions, sexual abuse, and separation of families occured on our land," State Rep. Ramon Moreno (D-Ft. Worth) said, referring to reports of violations inside holding centers housing illegal immigrants.