Sanctuary Cities

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Travis County raised nearly $90,000 as of Monday afternoon through an online initiative set up after Gov. Greg Abbott cut $1.5 million in grant funding over the sheriff’s new immigration policy. State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) launched the fundraising site Friday in partnership with the Austin Community Foundation.

Immigration activists and attorneys in Travis County are bracing for the possibility of deportation raids by federal officials in the coming days. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Texas lawmakers heard hours of public testimony Thursday and into early Friday morning over a bill banning so-called “sanctuary cities” in Texas, ultimately voting early this morning 7-2 along party lines to send the bill to the full Senate.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Travis County sheriff’s new immigration policy goes into effect today. The policy limits what information local law enforcement share with the federal immigration agency, and it's already stirred up a lot of controversy.

This morning, Gov. Greg Abbott came through on a pledge to cancel $1.5 million in criminal justice grants from his office to Travis County over the policy.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Gov. Greg Abbott delivers his State of the State address in the House chamber at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Reporters from KUT and other public radio stations across Texas will be annotating his remarks.

Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

The 10th Amendment, the Tea Party and sanctuary cities are three things that one wouldn’t imagine having much in common. But they do – perhaps now more than ever.

A few years ago conservatives pointed to the 10th Amendment, which safeguards states’ rights, as a bulwark against orders from the Obama administration.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The governor’s office has asked state agencies to send a list of funds, including federal money, directed to Travis County last year. In a letter sent Thursday, Budget Director Steven Albright said the list “should be complete with the amount of funds and the purpose of the agreement” and be submitted by Feb. 3.

Dani Matias for KUT

In response to vows from the state and federal government to knock out so-called “sanctuary cities," roughly 30 people crowded around a rickety podium Wednesday to announce their support of Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s immigration policy.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

“[A] dangerous game of political Russian roulette.” That’s how Texas Gov. Greg Abbott described Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s immigration policy, which was released Friday. And, this morning, Abbott told Fox News that he's directing lawmakers to draft a bill that would penalize similar policies and threatened to remove Hernandez from office.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Update (Jan. 23) – Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez today, outlining potential penalties for the county and calling Hernandez’s policy “shortsighted.”

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

In a windowless office in a Northwest Austin thrift store, past several racks of high-end used clothing, Todd Logan pores over a list of names.

“We had about 84 folks we were helping through our housing program,” he says. Logan is the director of client services at Project Transitions, a nonprofit that provides medical care and housing for people living with AIDS. He estimates that of the 84 people the group helped last year to keep or find housing, more than half were living on the streets.

 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Attempts to eliminate so-called sanctuary cities has begun anew with another Texas legislative session and new national leadership that has singled out these municipalities. And while Austin is often labeled a sanctuary city, it’s not clear that the city indeed is one.

Congress to Vote on Sanctuary Cities

Jul 22, 2015
Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Republicans in Texas who grouse that the federal government doesn’t enforce immigration laws might soon have Congress to thank for beefing up enforcement at the state and local levels.

The U.S. House is on track to vote later this week on legislation that would cut off federal funding for cities that don't enforce immigration laws. 

Most members of Congress interviewed by The Texas Tribune on Tuesday had not yet read the legislation — dubbed the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act — but said they were considering it ahead of the likely Thursday vote. 

“I think we need to obey the law, but I want to see what sort of language they have on it,” said U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat.

KUT News

Hispanic evangelicals in Texas have common ground with some conservative Texas lawmakers on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion. When it comes to a measure known as the sanctuary cities bill, however, evangelicals say their faith stops them from supporting the measure.

Photo by KUT

Like parents threatening to withhold allowance from a misbehaving child, proponents of the Republican-backed sanctuary cities bill are warning local authorities across the state: Comply with the bill or face the fiscal consequences.

KUT News

Senate Approves Sanctuary Cities Bill

The Texas Senate has passed controversial immigration legislation.  The so-called sanctuary cities bill would let law enforcement officers question people legally detained about their immigration status.  The vote broke along party lines with all Senate Republicans voting for it and all Democrats against it. 

Liang Shi/KUT News

A Texas Senate committee heard testimony this morning on legislation that would enable local law enforcement to question people about their immigration status during encounters such as traffic stops. The so-called “sanctuary cities” legislation died during the 2011 regular session but Governor Rick Perry put in back on the call for this month's special session.

Photo by KUT News

Pentagon Papers Being Released Today

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum at UT is one of a handful of libraries across the country releasing a complete set of the Pentagon Papers today. The release comes 40 years after The New York Times published leaked parts of the report. The Pentagon Papers include 7,000 pages of a top secret federal government study on the Vietnam War.

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