Far West Texas state Sen. Jose Rodriguez addressed his concern to Presidio County constituents at a Marfa town hall meeting on Saturday about a proposed bill that would prohibit communities from being “sanctuary cities.” Sanctuary city is a term given to a city in the United States or Canada that follows certain practices that protect illegal immigrants.
When the senator returned to Austin on Monday, he, who is chair of the Senate Hispanic Caucus and Vice-Chair Senator Sylvia R. Garcia had the hearing postponed.A public hearing on the measure – Senate Bill 185 – before the Senate Subcommittee on Border Security, was scheduled for 8am Monday, but the notice for the hearing was posted mid-day Friday, which gave potential witnesses insufficient time to make arrangements to testify at the hearing.
“What kind of transparency notice is that to people who have an issue with this bill or an interest for or against, particularly those who want to testify against it, in being able to (attend), particularly from our region?” said Rodriguez.
According to the Texas Tribune, they used a senate rule to request an additional 48 hours notice for hearings that are posted 72 hours or less in advance.
A similar bill to SB 185 was proposed in 2011, but didn’t pass due to the two-thirds rule, which was thrown out earlier this year by Lt. Gov Dan Patrick. Rodriguez pointed out that several law enforcement agencies spoke against it at the time as they felt it would harm the relationship they have with the community.