Schaefer Amendment Hits Sanctuary Cities

News / Schaefer Amendment Hits Sanctuary Cities

By Matt Schaefer
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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Sunday night Gov. Abbott signed a statewide ban on sanctuary cities. The legislation got a big boost in the House when Rep. Schaefer succeeded in adding a strong amendment which ultimately became law.

Several hours of intense negotiation and heated exchanges when SB 4 was debated in the Texas House produced what became known by supporters and critics as the “Schaefer amendment.” With help from conservative colleague Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving), Rep. Schaefer successfully added critical language back into the bill, which had been removed in the House State Affairs committee, to include a strong provision to remove officials who create sanctuary policies from office. The Schaefer amendment passed 81-64.

After playing a key role in writing the sanctuary cities law, Rep. Schaefer was asked to appear on Fox News to discuss the bill and how Texas is dealing with illegal immigration.

“Texas will no longer tolerate law enforcement officials who deliberately refuse to support the enforcement of immigration laws and thereby put Texans at risk. The simple truth is that this is about public safety and upholding the rule of law. No more, no less,” Schaefer said.

Labeled the toughest sanctuary cities law in the country, SB4 ensures that city and county governments in Texas cannot create polices that will prohibit law enforcement officers from honoring U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests, or from inquiring into the immigration status of an individual who has been lawfully detained for reasonable suspicion of committing a crime, or has been lawfully arrested. The bill does not change federal immigration law, and it does not grant new immigration authority to state or local law enforcement officials. Neither SB 4, nor the Schaefer amendment, change anything about when a person can be detained for the purpose of checking federal immigration status, despite false claims by Democrats.

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