Tribpedia: Sanctuary Cities

The term "sanctuary city" has no legal meaning, but it's become a rallying cry for many with concerns about illegal immigration.

It generally refers to municipalities that have established policies prohibiting police officers from enforcing immigration laws or cooperating with federal immigration officials.

Texas law states that police officers generally cannot arrest people without probable cause of a crime, and immigration violations often are civil matters, not criminal cases. 

Some think Houston is a sanctuary city, while others — including the region's top immigration enforcement official — reject that.

Images

9-year-old Wendy gives a speech protesting Senate Bill 4, the "sanctuary cities" bill, on May 29, 2017.
State Reps. Tomas Uresti, D-San Antonio, and Ramon Romero, D-Fort Worth, stand beside 9-year-old Wendy as she gives a speech protesting Senate Bill 4, the "sanctuary cities" bill, on May 29, 2017.
A protester holds a flag aloft at a rally protesting the House passage of Senate Bill 4, the "sanctuary cities" bill, on April 27, 2017. House members vote on an amendment to SB4, the "sanctuary cities" bill, on April 26, 2017. State Rep. Veronica Neave, D-Dallas, gives an emotional speech as a picture of her father is held up during the debate on SB4 — the "sanctuary cities" bill — on April 26, 2017.   State Rep. Veronica Neave, D-Dallas, gives an emotional speech during the debate on SB4, the "sanctuary cities" bill, on April 26, 2017. State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Ft. Worth, at the beginning of floor debate on Senate Bill 4 — the "sanctuary cities" bill — on April 26, 2017. State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, gives a speech while surrounded by his fellow Democrats at the beginning of debate on SB4 — the "sanctuary cities" bill — on April 26, 2017. Witnesses wait to testify before the House State Affairs Committee on Senate Bill 4 — the "sanctuary cities" bill — on March 15, 2017. Houston Police Department officer Matt May speaks against the "sanctuary cities" bill on May 15, 2015. Catholic Bishop Joe Vásquez of the Austin Diocese speaks out against Senate Bill 4 — the "sanctuary cities" bill — on March 15, 2017. State Affairs Committee member Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, at the hearing on Senate Bill 4, the "sanctuary cities" bill, on March 15, 2017. Austin Police Chief Brian Manley waits to give his testimony on SB4 during a Senate State Affairs Committee hearing on February 2, 2017. Rocio Garcia signs up to testify on SB4 — the so-called "sanctuary cities" bill — on February 2, 2017. Crowds gathered inside the Texas Capitol when SB 4, the sanctuary cities bill, was considered in the Senate State Affairs Committee on Feb. 2, 2017 Critics of Senate Bill 4, a bill banning sanctuary cities, protest at the Texas Capitol as the bill is scheduled to be debated before the Senate State Affairs committee on Feb. 2, 2017. State Sen. José R. Rodríguez in the Senate State Affairs committee discussing state Sen. Charles Perry's bill banning sanctuary cities and sanctuary college campuses on Feb. 2, 2017. Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez. Joe Martinez, GOP candidate for sheriff of Travis Co. on August 22, 2016. Joe Martinez, GOP candidate for sheriff of Travis Co. on August 22, 2016. Joe Martinez, GOP candidate for sheriff of Travis Co. on August 22, 2016. Protesters block a rear entrance to Texas Governor Rick Perry's office on the second floor protesting HB12 the so-called "sanctuary cities" bill winding its way through the Senate on May 25, 2011. Protesters with signs and American flags line the hallway outside the Senate chamber on sanctuary cities bill HB12 on May 25, 2011. Protesters with American flags line the hallway outside the Senate chamber protesting HB12 the so-called "sanctuary cities" bill on May 25, 2011. Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, answers questions during debate on amendments to HB 12, the "sanctuary cities" bill, before its final passage in the House on May 10. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, pauses while speaking for his amendment to the "sanctuary cities" bill on the House floor May 10. His amendment failed and the bill, which he opposed, passed. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, speaks in favor of his amendment to the "sanctuary cities" bill on the House floor on May 10. His amendment failed and the bill, which he opposed, passed. State Rep. Burt Solomons (c), R-Carrollton, listens to a question from Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, during a delay in HB12 the sanctuary cities bill on May 9, 2011. State Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, lays out HB12 on "sanctuary cities" in the House on May 6, 2011. House sponsor State Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, lays out HB12 on "sanctuary cities" in the House on May 6, 2011. Republican State Reps.  Byron Cook (l), R-Corsicana, Burt Solomons (c), R-Carrollton, and Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, listen to a point of order on HB12 sanctuary cities bill on May 6, 2011. Sponsor of HB12 State Rep. Burt Solomons (l), R-Carrollton, and Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, listen to a point of order called May 6, 2011. House Democrats, including Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, at microphone, call a point of order on a "sanctuary cities" bill on May 6, 2011.

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