This is exactly what they should be doing.
The twelve Democrats in the Texas Senate signed a letter that they delivered today to their colleagues, vowing to oppose the sanctuary cities bill — a move that could, but not necessarily, kill its passage. The Senate this session has side-stepped its rule requiring 21 votes for debate, citing a little-used rule allowing consideration of House bills with a simple majority vote on Wednesday and Thursdays.
House Bill 12, awaiting consideration by the Senate, would ban cities from adopting policies prohibiting law enforcement from inquiring into the immigration status of persons detained in a criminal investigation. Gov. Rick Perry has designated the legislation a priority.
Postcards and the Trib have a copy of the letter. The Republicans may resort to their “we’ll follow our rules when it suits us and not when it doesn’t” ploy if they want, or Governor Perry can call a special session on this if he wants, but the important thing is that the Democrats took a stand and did the right thing. If they get steamrolled in the end, that’s a better argument for having more Democrats than I could make.
There will be additional pressure to pass the legislation because the House failed to put on its calendar a related bill — Senate Bill 9, which has passed the Senate but not the House. That legislation has been attached to House Bill 12 as a precaution by its sponsor, State Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands.
To pass Senate Bill 9, Williams will need to appease Democrats by stripping the sanctuary city language from House Bill 12, or attempt to pass it this Wednesday or Thursday — on Senate “House bill day.”
The best outcome is that both of these bills die. Whatever does happen, at least the Democrats will have gone down fighting. Sometimes, that’s all you can hope for.