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The Brief: Texas House committee taking up "sanctuary cities" bill

The House State Affairs Committee is expected to take up legislation that would effectively ban sanctuary cities in Texas.

State Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, answers questions regarding Senate Bill 4, better known as the anti-"sanctuary cities" bill, on Feb. 7, 2017 in the state Capitol in Austin.

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What you need to know

The House State Affairs Committee is expected to take up legislation that would penalize local and state governments that don't cooperate with federal officials to enforce immigration laws — a move that would effectively ban sanctuary cities in Texas. 

  • The battle lines: Supporters say the bill would provide consistency among law enforcement agencies to follow same procedures, while opponents say the bill would instill a "blanket of fear" in immigrant communities, ultimately discouraging interactions with law enforcement. 
  • The Senate approved SB 4 last month. After many hours of testimony and debate, the bill, authored by state Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, passed out of the upper chamber along a party line vote, 20-11
  • We're expecting another long committee hearing today. Public testimony on the legislation could go on for hours. For updates today, follow Texas Tribune reporter Julian Aguilar.
  • Texas Democrats may highlight "sanctuary industries" in their effort to fight SB 4. State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, said in March that Democrats at the Capitol were ready to shine a light on "sanctuary industries," or businesses that didn't fully vet their employees' legal status in Texas, to fend off anti-sanctuary legislation this session.

Now, your take

In the latest UT/Texas Tribune poll, 50 percent of Texans said they opposed "sanctuary cities," while 37 percent said they supported the practice. 

What we're reading

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

Trump made $150 million in 2005 and paid $38 million in federal taxesPolitico

Get by without Planned Parenthood? One Texas effort stumbles, The Associated Press 

Texans receive first notices of land condemnation for Trump's border wall, Texas Observer

Dallas police officer fired for using inappropriate force, turning off police cameraThe Dallas Morning News ($)

Texas senators slam film incentives program, Austin American-Statesman ($)

Straus: Tapping our savings account will help balance our budgetHouston Chronicle ($)

For your calendar 

Join us on Tuesday, March 28, at KLRU's Studio 6A for a special screening of Beyond the Wall, The Texas Tribune's short documentary that explores the state's immigration issues through the eyes of undocumented immigrants, border patrol agents and a borderland rancher.

Photo of the day

Joseph Seinsheimer, chairman of the Galveston chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, dressed up as a self-proclaimed “bag monster” as he testified Tuesday against legislation that would prevent cities from banning plastic bags. Photo by Marjorie Kamys Cotera. See more photos on our Instagram account

Quote to note

"In a state with fewer than 20 clinics to serve more than 5.4 million women of reproductive age, we must address how abortion restrictions disproportionately affect low-income people, people of color, immigrants, young people and people from rural Texas communities. And yet, these same people are the ones most likely to be left out of the conversation."

— Nan Little Kirkpatrick, executive director of Texas Equal Access Fund, and Amanda Williams, executive director of Lilith Fund, about the abortion conversation in Texas via TribTalk

The Brief is written and compiled by your morning news baristas, Bobby Blanchard and Cassi Pollock. 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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