For Immediate Release: January 25, 2017
Contact: Liz Zornes
MALC JOINS SENATE HISPANIC CAUCUS, FAITH AND BUSINESS COMMUNITIES TO OPPOSE SANCTUARY CITIES LEGISLATION
Leaders oppose tying the hands of local law enforcement and requiring them to enforce federal immigration laws.
Austin, Texas— Today, members of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus (MALC) of the Texas Legislature held a press conference to oppose legislation that would force local compliance with all Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests. Joining them were Senator Sylvia Garcia, Chair of the Senate Hispanic Caucus, Bishop Joel Martinez of the United Methodist Church in San Antonio, and Ramiro Cavazos, President and CEO of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Some of the bills that have already been filed, including SB 4, would threaten communities with the loss of much-needed state grant funds. Others would employ more radical and untested and discriminatory means.
“The problem that these ‘sanctuary city’ bills purport to solve does not exist in our state,” says Rep. Rafael Anchia, Chair of MALC. “At the same time, these bills would make our communities less safe by eroding trust between local law enforcement and the communities they serve and diverting their already strained resources to enforcing federal immigration laws for which they have no responsibility.”
“As Christians and United Methodists we are called to love the stranger in our midst and to treat that stranger as we would our own family, added Bishop Martinez. “We must be a church that welcomes the immigrant into our cities, our towns, our neighborhoods, our churches, and our homes.”
“The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce opposes any proposed legislation on so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ that allows police officers to ask individuals about their immigration status, “ said Mr. Cavazos. “Not only would these policies infringe on personal privacy, they would also hurt our workforce and negatively impact economic growth.”
In the coming weeks, MALC will continue to mobilize its members as well as members of the community in opposing “sanctuary cities” legislation.
A bi-partisan caucus, MALC is the oldest and largest Latino legislative caucus in the United States. Currently, MALC has a membership of 42 House members from all parts of the state, and is the second-largest caucus in Texas. Members are on all but 3 House Committees in the Texas House of Representatives.