The Texas Senate is holding a public hearing on an immigration bill that, if passed, would prevent police agencies from adopting policies that forbid officers from inquiring on the immigration status of individuals they detain.
Governor Rick Perry added the immigration legislation during a special session last week after a similar bill failed to pass in the senate’s regular session. Media reports say public testimony on the issue is expected to last several hours.
Known as the sanctuary cities bill, the measure would also deny funding to local governments that refuse to allow officers to enforce federal immigration laws.
Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance is expected to deliver thousands of letters to lawmakers and speak to reporters after the hearing, reported KXAN News. The group said law enforcement officials, business professionals and church leaders who are opposed to the bill will be there in protest.
The bill was one of Perry’s emergency items for the special session. The Governor claims it will show the state isn’t tolerant of individuals who break the law.
Many believe Perry is a leading candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2012 presidential election. However, Perry has yet to officially announce whether he will run.