The Texas Legislative Guide was designed and developed by Becca Aaronson, Emily Albracht, Daniel Craigmile, Annie Daniel, Ben Hasson and Ryan Murphy for The Texas Tribune. The Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that promotes civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government and other matters of statewide concern.
The tens of thousands of undocumented Central American immigrants that illegally breached the Texas-Mexico border over the summer virtually guaranteed that immigration enforcement will be one of the centerpieces of the 84th Legislature.
But one legislative effort that got little traction was a proposed ban on so-called “sanctuary cities,” the term for government entities that forbid local peace officers from enforcing federal immigration laws, including asking the immigration status of someone detained or arrested.
Arguments for and against mirrored 2011, when then-Gov. Rick Perry included a sanctuary city ban on his list of legislative emergency items. Opponents said a ban would lead to racial profiling and erode public trust in law enforcement. Proponents said it would help ferret out criminal immigrants and other people who aren’t legally allowed to live here.
While a sanctuary cities bill made it out of committee in the conservative Senate this year, the full chamber couldn't scrounge the votes to bring it to the floor. The upper chamber’s 11 Democrats have stood united in their opposition to sanctuary cities bills, and at least two Republicans were firmly against it.
Updated: June 1, 2015
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