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Texas Senate holds hearing on sanctuary cities

Special to the Courier

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick

Last week, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick commended the efforts of the Texas Senate to end the practice of sanctuary cities in this state. His remarks followed the first interim hearing on border security.
"I am very pleased the Texas Senate continues to lead on border security and efforts to end the practice of allowing sanctuary cities," Patrick said. "Both clarification and consistency on this issue for our 254 counties and all Texas cities are long overdue."
According to Patrick, during the Thursday, Dec. 3, hearing, members heard strong pleas for state assistance in the matter. "I am committed to work with the Senate, both during this interim and the remainder of my term in office, to ensure that assistance is provided," he said. Patrick also commended Committee Chairman Senator Brian Birdwell for "doing an outstanding job heading up this important interim charge."
During the hearing, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw testified that over a four-year period more than 174,000 illegal aliens have been arrested and booked into Texas jails, charged with more than 460,000 criminal violations.
Additionally, McCraw pointed out that the statistics don't include violators who may have committed crimes but who haven't yet been arrested.
AJ "Andy" Louderback, legislative director of the Texas Sheriffs Association, also told committee members, "We have a lot of criminal aliens here now." He blamed the problem on the federal government's Priority Enforcement Program, or PEP, which he said "... significantly weakens how we protect the state."
Patrick added, "The facts are clear and demand a response. When it comes to federal immigration laws, our hands may be tied but Texas can and will take action to guarantee public safety. The facts and statistics back up what I have been saying since I was first elected to the legislature in 2007."
He concluded, "Texans are at risk as long as Washington fails to do its job and refuses to protect our border. While securing the border is a responsibility of Washington, DC, it is still a Texas problem. That's why the Senate led the way during the last session to provide funding for border security at the highest levels in history."