Judicial Watch • Judicial Watch to Texas Attorney General: Texas State Legislature Has Authority to Stop Illegal Alien Sanctuary Policies

Judicial Watch to Texas Attorney General: Texas State Legislature Has Authority to Stop Illegal Alien Sanctuary Policies

Judicial Watch to Texas Attorney General: Texas State Legislature Has Authority to Stop Illegal Alien Sanctuary Policies

SEPTEMBER 24, 2008

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has sent a letter to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott with the following message: The Texas State Legislature has the authority to prohibit local government agencies from implementing sanctuary policies that benefit illegal aliens.

Judicial Watch sent the letter, dated September 18, 2008, in conjunction with two organizations, Texans for Immigration Reform and Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas, both of which were invited by Attorney General Abbott to submit their views on the matter. Members of the Texas State Legislature have sought the opinion of Attorney General Abbott as they consider legislation that would invalidate illegal alien sanctuary policies and support the use of local law enforcement agencies in enforcing federal immigration laws. (Much of the letter is applicable to other states considering reigning in local sanctuary policies.)

The following is a key excerpt from Judicial Watch’s letter:

Question

Does the [Texas State] Legislature have the authority to prohibit local governmental entities from serving as "sanctuaries" for undocumented persons?

Answer

Yes, the [Texas State] Legislature may prohibit local governmental entities from serving as "sanctuaries" for undocumented persons to the extent that a local government adopts any restriction or limitation on communication between local police or officials and federal immigration authorities regarding a person’s immigration status. Any such enactment by the Legislature would be entirely consistent with federal law and would help remove any doubt as to the authority of local governments to adopt such policies.

"Sanctuary policies are dangerous and illegal. Texas legislators not only have the power to shut down sanctuary policies, but they also have a responsibility to the citizens of Texas to shut them down," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Sanctuary policies violate federal immigration laws and often allow illegal alien criminals back on the streets to prey upon innocent U.S. citizens. Sanctuary policies for illegal aliens must be abolished not only in Texas but in every single state in the country."

To join Judicial Watch’s nationwide campaign to abolish illegal alien sanctuary policies, visit www.sanctuarybusters.org

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