Will The San Marcos City Council Take An Official Stand On SB4 Tonight? If So, What Will It Mean For You?

Will the San Marcos City Council take an official stand on SB4 tonight? If so, what will it mean for you? We give you a breakdown of SB 4 with both sides of the debate!

By, Terra Rivers, Managing Editor

The San Marcos City Council will open their regular meeting tonight with a discussion on Gov. Abbott’s “Anti-sanctuary cities” bill in executive session.

According to the agenda, in this week’s executive session, city council will “receive advice of legal counsel regarding (the) implementation of Senate Bill 4, and pending litigation regarding the bill.”

Since Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill on May 7, several local government agencies and local and national organizations have filed suit against the state, including San Antonio, Dallas, Houston and Travis County.

The original complaint was filed with The U.S. District Court in San Antonio on May 8 by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); City of El Cenizo, Texas; City of El Cenizo Mayor, Raul L. Reyes; Maverick County Sheriff, Tom Schmerber, and Maverick County Constable Pct. 3-1, Mario A. Hernandez. Read the original complaint HERE.

According to the plaintiff’s case, Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests are supposed to be voluntary and limit when local law enforcement may give ICE advanced notice of a person’s release from a local jail.

However, Senate Bill 4 states the bill is an “enforcement” law and not an immigration law. The law requires local and university law enforcement to abide by the U.S. Immigration Law. Read an official copy of the Enrolled¹ SB4 HERE.

To implement SB 4, local law enforcement agencies are required to follow federal law.

According to a bill analysis report by the Texas House Research Organization (HRO), SB 4 “would prohibit local government entities and campus police from adopting certain types of policies, patterns or practices that prohibit the enforcement of state or federal immigration law.”

HRO is a nonpartisan, independent research department of the Texas House of Representatives that provides impartial information on legislation and issues before the Texas Legislature. Read the full bill analysis from HRO, including an easy to understand breakdown of SB 4 with both sides of the debate HERE.

Additionally, HRO reported to comply with the bill; local entities would have to refrain from adopting or practicing certain policies. The bill would not take away local entities’ control over their law enforcement officers but would ensure all officers could uphold all laws and protect the public.

The research report goes on to say, “The bill would not authorize officers to stop people solely to enforce immigration laws and would not allow questions about (the) immigration status of those who merely were detained by officers.”

“Instead, it would focus on those who were arrested in order to avoid any potential confusion about its meaning. Texas peace officers would not be required to act as immigration agents, to determine anyone’s immigration status, or to deport anyone.”

Furthermore, SB 4 states that local entities, campus police departments, and their employees could not consider race, color, religion, language, or national origin when enforcing immigration laws, except as allowed by the state or federal constitutions.

The following items are also included in SB 4

  • Authorizes community outreach policies on this topic and ensure that the policies included victims of family violence and sexual assault.
  • Offers new grant program to offset costs of complying with the bill.
  • Bond Sureties

The bill excludes/exempts the following entities with complying with SB4.

  • Local hospitals or hospitals owned or operated by institutions of higher education hospitals or hospital districts
  • Public health departments
  • School districts, open enrollment charter schools
  • Peace officers who work for religious organizations
  • The releasing of information in the records of an educational agency or institution, except in conformity with federal law governing the privacy of student education records

Mayor Steve Adler of Austin said Senate Bill 4 would make the community less safe by interfering with the trust between public safety and their communities.

In some cases, the plaintiffs of the lawsuit prohibited local law enforcement officers from questioning persons under arrest for traffic or other nonviolent misdemeanor offenses regarding the individual’s immigration status or cooperating with ICE detainer requests.

Opponents have argued that SB 4…

  • Discriminates against Hispanic foreign nationals.
  • Economic impact 
  • Puts residents in danger.
  • Targets “sanctuary cities,”
  • ‘Show me your papers’
  • Illegal arrests
  • Racism
  • Loss of trust with respect to law enforcement
  • “All law enforcement agencies and jurisdictions that opt to stay out of immigration enforcement face stringent civil liability,” the lawsuit reads.
  • Conflicts with the 5th, 10th and 14th Amendments of the Constitution

The U.S. Naturalization Act of 1790, which establish the rules for naturalized citizenship, has been repealed at least four times since its creation to include other ethnicities and change the “duration of residence required for immigrants.”

To read a full rundown, along with sources, of the evolution of the United States Immigration law go HERE.

San Marcos City Council Meeting Agenda — Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2017, at 5 PM

Download (PDF)

¹Enrolled: The stage in a bill’s legislative progress when it has been passed by both chambers of the legislature in identical form and is prepared for signature by the presiding officers of both houses. If the bill is not passed in identical form by both houses, any changes made by the opposite chamber must be accepted by the originating chamber or a conference committee report must be adopted by both chambers before the bill may be enrolled.

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