Texas Dem fasts to protest sanctuary cities crackdown

Katie RamirezApr 27, 2017

The bill is scheduled for debate and a possible vote in the state's house on Wednesday.

The bill also penalizes communities that fail to comply: The head of a department whose agency violates the law could face criminal prosecution, while the agency could be fined at least $1,000 and as much as $25,000 for each recurring violation.

Anti- and pro-immigration battles are happening at the local level, as well, including in Texas, where one state lawmaker is in the midst of a hunger strike in protest of a pending sanctuary cities bill.

"I want people to know how awful this law is", she said, according to the Dallas News.

"What else can I do to defeat this bill?" she said. Her decision to go on a four-day hunger strike came in a moment of desperation, as she sought comfort - and an idea for action - in her faith.

The debate comes on the heels of a federal judge's ruling that blocked President Trump's executive order that aimed to withhold federal money to cities and counties deemed sanctuary jurisdictions by the federal government.

Through her fast, which she is doing alongside dozens of other Texans, Neave hopes to "soften the hearts" of state lawmakers planning on voting for the bill.

But Neave, who represents parts of Dallas, Mesquite and Garland, said she doesn't accept the argument that sanctuary cities unfairly protect undocumented immigrants, some who may commit more risky crimes. "We want to encourage community policing efforts, and this will have a detrimental effect on this efforts here in our state".

Earlier this month, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said his department found the number of Hispanics reporting rape is down 42.8 percent from past year, and those reporting other violent crimes has registered a 13 percent drop.

"Not everyone will agree with what I have to say", Neave said. These critics of the bill argue that it will create feelings of fear among immigrants, lead to fewer violent crimes being reported (because of fear of deportation) and increase instances of racial profiling.

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