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The Brief: How to watch hearing on 'sanctuary cities'

A bill that would ban sanctuary cities is getting its first hearing Thursday just days after Gov. Greg Abbott declared the issue an emergency item in his State of the State address.

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What you need to know

A bill that would ban “sanctuary cities” is getting its first hearing Thursday, just days after Gov. Greg Abbott declared the issue an emergency item in his State of the State address. Today's discussion also comes amid escalating tensions between Abbott and the Travis County sheriff over her new “sanctuary” policy.  

  • On Wednesday, Travis County officially adopted a policy that limits cooperation with federal immigration enforcement officials to deport inmates. Abbott responded by following through on a threat to cut off some state funding to the county.

  • Ahead of Thursday's hearing, the bill was updated with wording that would also give campus police the power to enforce federal immigration laws. Supporters of the legislation say it will keep communities safer.
  • But some law enforcement are opposed to the legislation. In addition to concerns that it will deter the public from cooperating with police, El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles says the bill "only serves to fulfill the anti-immigrant rhetoric of certain politicians." 
  • Today's hearing begins at 8:30 a.m. CST, with hundreds expected to testify. Watch the hearing live on our site, and follow Texas Tribune reporter Julián Aguilar for updates.

News from home

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What we're reading

(Links below lead to outside websites; paywall content noted with $) 

House science panel to hold hearing on "making the EPA great again", Scientific American

Why the state budget is such a mess, Texas Observer

Briles drops libel lawsuit against Baylor regents, senior VP, Waco Tribune-Herald

Trump to Mexico: Take care of 'bad hombres' or US might, The Associated Press

White House puts Iran 'on notice' after missile launch, The Wall Street Journal ($)

Travelers no longer being deatined at DFW airport because of Trump's order, attorneys sayThe Dallas Morning News ($)

For your calendar

On Tuesday, Feb. 7: Join us online or in person to meet several new legislators, Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park, Rep. Justin Holland, R-Rockwall, and Rep. Victoria Neave, D-Dallas.

For a complete list of upcoming events, visit our site

Quote to note

"We ask Texans to put a lot of trust in us and believe that we as legislators are acting in their best interest. But lately, we've done a sorry job of ensuring people can both trust — and verify."

State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, about ethics reform in the legislature via TribTalk

The Brief is written and compiled by your morning news baristas, Bobby Blanchard and Sanya Mansoor. If you have feedback or questions, please email We're a nonprofit newsroom, and count on readers like you to help power newsletters like this. Did you like what you read today? Show your appreciation by becoming a member or making a donation today.

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