The debate on HB 12, the so-called “sanctuary cities” bill, is underway. The bill by state Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, would prohibit cities, counties and other governmental entities or special districts from adopting a policy that prevents law enforcement from asking persons lawfully detained or arrested if they are in the country legally.
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The item is one of five declared an "emergency" by Gov. Rick Perry. Fifty-nine amendments were pre-filed and include provisions that would remove hospital districts from the rule. Another prevents students 17 years of age or younger from being questioned about their immigration status by peace officers. Others would require entities to submit to the state an annual report reflecting the fiscal impact of the legislation and another mandates law enforcement officials adopt a policy prohibiting racial profiling. With the deadline to move bills out of committee coming Monday, look for lawmakers to try and attach, as amendments, legislation they know has no chance of making it to the House calendar. For instance, state Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, filed HB 17, which would make being in the country illegally a trespassing crime. The bill didn’t make it out of committee, so Riddle’s attached it to HB 12 as an amendment.
Solomons: "The idea of stopping someone because they look Hispanic ... or French. We just don't do that."
"Arizona requires officers to inquiry. We wouldn't do that," Solomons said.
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