As the clocked ticked down the final moments of the 82nd Legislative session, the prediction of some Senate Democrats that their Tuesday vote to block HB12 was the end of “sanctuary cities” came true.
Sen. Tommy Williams did not try a second time to bring up the Arizona-style proposal and HB12 died a silent and painless death as Lt. Gov. Dewhurst adjourned the Senate.
The victory over irrational legislation belongs to communities in El Paso, Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Texas Valley, West Texas and others. Texas can be proud of the efforts of their state-wide alliance and other advocacy groups such as the TRUST coalition. They all made the difference with civic actions, an energetic strategy and deep dedication to Texan values and rights.
Congratulations to those Senators who stood up for civil and human rights, community safety and economic security by blocking HB12. The twelve lawmakers who voted to block HB12 were Sens. Wendy Davis, Rodney Ellis, Mario Gallegos Jr., Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa , Eddie Lucio Jr., Jose Rodriguez, Carlos Uresti, Leticia Van De Putte, Kirk Watson, John Whitmire, Royce West and Judith Zaffirini. Their votes prove their commitment to Texans.
The failure of HB12 was inevitable considering the far-reaching opposition to it that included police chiefs and sheriffs, faith leaders, business associations, Texas communities and civil and human rights activists across the state.
If Texas had followed the Arizona path of prejudice, xenophobia and intolerance towards immigrants, the U.S. values of liberty and justice for all would have been eroded in this great state for generations.
Civil and human rights activists should be bolstered to know that if anti-immigrant legislation can’t pass in Texas with a Republican supermajority voting party-line, it can’t pass anywhere.
What started in Arizona a year ago was stopped in Texas this week.