The Texas Bogeyman

From the Houston Chronicle:

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said ICE checks the jail database daily for people who are in the country illegally.

Wolff said of the legislation, “Looks like they’re having a real hard time finding a bogeyman to make up for the mess with the budget. Everything else we’ve got is screwed up. They keep playing around with things on the periphery that are not important.”

Shyeah, no kidding.  We’re in the hole, closing schools, cutting human services, and Texas legislators want to focus on eliminating sanctuary cities.

Senate Bill 11 and House Bill 12, filed by State Senator Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands) and State Representative Burt Solomons (R-Carrollton) respectively, states that local governments would risk losing state grant money if they prohibit employees from enforcing state or federal immigration laws, effectively ending “sanctuary cities”.

Sanctuary cities simply mean that some municipalities and counties have a policy of not using their funds to enforce federal immigration law and not allowing police or municipal employees to inquire as to immigration status.

And why would they do that? Because it’s expensive. “Enforcing federal immigration law” means spending time determining immigration status and resources spent on booking people and detaining them in jail.  Of course, people who have never had any interaction with our immigration system, ever, think it’s a two-bit job. Stop people if they look illegal, ask them if they have a social security number, boom, you’ve just enforced immigration law! It’s easy, guys! Come on!

Texas sheriffs disagree. To their credit, they are practical guys. The Victoria Advocate (a pretty darn conservative part of South Texas, I would say):

Victoria County Sheriff T. Michael O’Connor stands alongside other Texas law enforcement officers who oppose the state Legislature cutting funding for training while at the same time having to enforce federal immigration laws.

I, as the sheriff of Victoria County, Texas, am not in the immigration business, period. I don’t intend to be anytime soon,” O’Connor said. “At the same time, although we may not agree with certain laws, we will enforce them.”

“We are already chock full of unfunded mandates,” continued the sheriff. “At some point, you have to ask ‘where is the practical side to it?’ “

Yeah, I feel you…when schools are shutting down and the lights are going out in retirement homes in Texas because we have a deregulated grid, it’s easy to wonder where all the practical people have gone.

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