Skip to main content

The Brief: Two dozen arrested at Texas Capitol

At least two dozen protestors on the grounds of the Texas Capitol were charged with trespassing Monday after a day-long sit-in over a proposed bill that would ban "sanctuary" jurisdictions in Texas.

Austin City Council member Gregorio Casar speaks to opponents of the "sanctuary" jurisdictions bill moving through the Legislature outside the State Insurance Building in Austin on May 1, 2017.

Thanks for reading The Brief, The Texas Tribune’s daily newsletter that prepares you for the day ahead. If you have friends who might want to join our list, please forward this email. They can click here to sign up. – BB

Tribune today

• After having its city council districts declared discriminatory, the city of Pasadena is preparing for May elections that could have statewide implications.

• From Ross Ramsey: Texas legislators — along with everyone watching them — are expected to lock horns over transgender Texans and the bathroom bill. But the raw debate over sanctuary cities legislation could be the hallmark of this 85th Legislature.

• Mark your calendars. A federal panel has ordered July 10 as the start date for a five-day trial over Texas House and congressional political maps.

• The Senate passed a bill that would extend the opportunity for students to graduate, even if they haven't passed their required exams, by going before a special committee.

• The debate over tree protection ordinances has brought the power struggle between state and local officials into Texans yards.

• UT police continue to search for a motive in a student's stabbing spree, after a tense day on campus.

• A bill aimed at overhauling Houston's troubled pension funds overwhelmingly passed the Senate, but some first responders still aren't happy.

• Kevin Lilly is one step closer to becoming a commissioner at TABC, which recently came under fire for controversial spending practices

• Ted Cruz has one less competitor to worry about. Joaquin Castro says he won't run for U.S. Senate in 2018.

What you need to know

At least two dozen protestors at a building on the Texas Capitol grounds were charged with trespassing Monday after a day-long sit-in over a proposed bill that would ban "sanctuary" jurisdictions in Texas. Different versions of the legislation have now passed both chambers. Here's what you need to know.

• Some attorneys were kept out of the building. George Lobb, with the Austin Lawyers Guild, said state troopers prevented him and five other lawyers from entering to speak with their clients. He said a Travis County magistrate apparently issued citations to protesters inside.

Protesters want Gov. Greg Abbott to hear their message. Bob Lilal, the executive director of an Austin-based immigrant rights group, said the end goal was to convince Abbott to veto the bill, a highly unlikely outcome since the issue is one of four that Abbott has designated "emergencies" this session.

A controversial amendment added to the bill by the House has protesters even more riled up. The provision would allow police officers to question a person's immigration status during a detainment, and not just arrest. Some argue this would make the most routine police interactions, like traffic stops, fearful experiences for immigrants. 

What we're reading

Links below lead to outside websites; we've noted paywall content with $.

Bryan pastor joins fight for medical marijuana, The Eagle

May Day marchers united after SB4 bill moves forward, The Monitor

Legislature plans to close four correctional facilities. Will they become immigrant detention centers?, Texas Observer

1 student dead, 3 injured in UT stabbing attack; suspect also is student, Austin-American Statesman ($)

For Dallas first responders, Old East Dallas attack carries echoes of July ambushThe Dallas Morning News ($)

Car was driving away from officer when he shot boy with rifle, Balch Springs chief saysThe Dallas Morning News ($)

Tomi Lahren, Glenn Beck settle lawsuit, The Dallas Morning News ($)

Pushing for vote on health care bill, Trump seems unclear on its detailsThe New York Times ($)

For your calendar

Today: Join us in Austin for our final "On The Record" event of the session – a happy hour event series breaking down how you can make your voice heard at the Texas Legislature.

On May 10: Join us for coffee and a conversation with author and political strategist Matthew Dowd at The Austin Club.

Photo of the day

Opponents of Senate Bill 4 block the entrance to the State Insurance Building, where several of Gov. Greg Abbott’s administrative offices are located. The demonstrators said they won’t leave until Abbott refuses to sign SB 4. Photo by Bob Daemmrich. See more photos on our Instagram account

Quote to note

"It's our job to tell them they're fired and they can go to hell."

— Norma Herrera, a former staffer for the state's Legislative Budget Board, who protested Senate Bill 4 at the day-long sit in Monday.

The Brief is written and compiled by your morning news baristas, Bobby Blanchard and Sanya Mansoor. If you have feedback or questions, please email As a nonprofit newsroom, we 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.

Texans need truth. Help us report it.

Yes, I'll donate today

Explore related story topics