Statement: Ellis on Senate Passage of Sanctuary Cities Bill
Senator Ellis releases the following statement upon the Senate's passage of SB 9, the sanctuary cities bill, 19-12, along party lines following hours of debate:
"Not one proponent of this legislation has been willing to identify one single Texas city as a "sanctuary city". Maybe that is because there are no sanctuary cities in Texas. The term is a paper thin distraction from the state's unaddressed economic crisis. Instead of finding solutions to even come close to fulfilling our moral obligation to provide an adequate education to our children, we point the finger at one of our most vulnerable populations and say they are at fault. This is a blatant abdication of responsibility by the Texas legislature.
Law enforcement leaders from Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and El Paso testified that the passage of this bill would make their jobs more difficult, that it is an unfunded mandate, and would erode the public safety they are charged with keeping. Attorneys, both members of the Senate and witnesses, attested to the bill's dangerous lack of clarity. If we did not hear the pleas of the overwhelming number of religious leaders, advocates, students, and victims of domestic violence that testified in opposition to the bill, how can we not hear the grave concerns of those charged with keeping us safe?
The so called "sanctuary cities" bill failed to pass during the regular session because it failed to achieve anything resembling a consensus. It was bad bill then and it is a bad bill now; the only difference is that they don't need 21 of us to get it through."