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Texas House set to discuss so-called "sanctuary cities" bill


Texas state Rep. Victoria Neave is on a hunger strike.

Under the legislation, cities, counties and universities could no longer adopt so-called sanctuary policies.

The Texas Senate has approved the bill and, with majority support for it in the House, Republicans are expected to pass the legislation. Those policies prohibit local law enforcement from asking about a person's immigration status or enforcing immigration law. Her father, now a United States citizen, initially entered the country illegally.

"What else can I do to defeat this bill?" she said. 'The last alternative I thought I could turn to was prayer'.

President Trump on Friday intensified threats to crack down on sanctuary cities, warning nine jurisdictions that they may lose coveted law enforcement grant money unless they document cooperation with federal authorities.

Neave said she has noticed heightened anxiety in immigrant communities stemming from steps taken at the national level to ramp up deportations and punish "sanctuary cities", Neave said.


Since announcing her hunger strike, Neave has been the target of many online attacks. Some even said that they will join her in fasting prior to the bill's debate. "We want to encourage community policing efforts, and this will have a detrimental effect on this efforts here in our state". "This doesn't just affect the immigrant community, it impacts everyone who will need to prove he or she is a citizen".

Neave says her hunger protest is one last push to shut the bill down. "Their second grade students are afraid of what is going to happen to them if their parents are deported".

"We had more than 1,200 people pack a cafeteria in North Mesquite High School, and I saw the fear in their eyes", Neave told NBC DFW.

But Neave, who represents parts of Dallas, Mesquite and Garland, said she doesn't accept the argument that sanctuary cities unfairly protect undocumented immigrants, some who may commit more unsafe crimes.

"Not everyone will agree with what I have to say", Neave said.

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