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

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.
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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