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02/06/2017 Action Alert: Urge Senators to Oppose “Anti-Sanctuary City” Legislation

Submitted by Sean Hennigan on Mon, 02/06/2017 - 8:00am

ACTION ALERT: Last Thursday, despite over sixteen hours of public testimony and hundreds of calls from Texas Impact members, the Senate State Affairs Committee approved Senate Bill 4 by a 7-2 vote in one day. SB4 would ban so-called “sanctuary cities” in Texas and withhold funding from jurisdictions that don’t comply with federal immigration detainer requests. This bill, and other bills like it, would impose new requirements on local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration laws. The bill includes whistleblower provisions and includes fiscal sanctions against local governments that fail to comply. 

Opponents of SB 4 say the bill takes authority away from local law enforcement agencies and would diminish the ability of local law enforcement to make the best decisions to keep their communities safe. In particular, opponents stress that the bill would discourage the reporting of crimes by individuals who fear they, their family members, or their associates could become caught up in immigration enforcement if they come forward.

Take Action: Call your state senator and tell them you don’t support “anti-sanctuary cities” legislation, and you trust your local law enforcement officials to make wise decisions for your community. Please feel free to reference the importance of this issue to Texans of faith.

If your senator is a member of the State Affairs Committee, please ask them how they made their decision to vote on the bill and whether the hours of testimony factored in any way into their decision. Senators on State Affairs are Senators Huffman, Hughes, Birdwell, Creighton, Estes, Lucio, Nelson, Schwertner and Zaffirini.

Find your state senator via the “Who Represents Me” page.

If you learn anything that would benefit Texas Impact staff, email

A list of toll free numbers for each member of the Senate is attached to this week's action alert. Using the toll free numbers allow Texas Impact staff to track how many calls are going in to each office.

Sample Script

Hello, my name is                   and I live in ___________. I am calling to thank Senator     __  for his/her service this Legislative Session and to let you know that I and members of my congregation are praying for the Senator and his/her staff.

As a person of faith (or clergy) I want to urge Senator _______________ to oppose Senate Bill 4, which is an unwarranted and potentially dangerous intrusion by the state into local law enforcement agencies and their ability to keep the peace locally. (If your congregation has a relationship with local law enforcement—for example if you have met with them to go over your open carry posting options or if you ever interact with them regarding homeless or mentally ill community members, you could mention that and point out how important it is for the community to have a trusting relationship with law enforcement.)

I understand that the Senate may be hearing SB4 this week, and I urge you to oppose the bill and other, similar pieces of legislation.  

Don’t forget to thank the staff member you are talking to at the end of the call, even if you disagree with their boss on the issue or bill—they are working hard and appreciate being appreciated!

In the past members have occasionally blocked our toll free number because of high call volume from people of faith. We want them to hear your voice, so if you call twice and received busy signals, email and we will update the number.

For updated information, visit, follow us on Facebook or Twitter or contact

Weekly Witness is sponsored this week by Rev. Dr. T Randall Smith and Rev. Sandra W. Smith, and Mary and Jim Brown

Texas Impact is a membership organization. Join Texas Impact and be part of Texas' oldest and largest interfaith action network! For more information, visit:

Weekly Witness Sponsors

Congregations, organizations, businesses or individuals can sponsor up to 19 weeks of legislative briefings to ensure that the 85th Legislature hears from Texans of all faith and cultural backgrounds in order to advocate for the common good at a time when Texas needs it!

Platinum Sponsors:

  • Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston

  • Members of Friends Congregational Church, College Station

  • Rev. Dr. T. Randall Smith and Rev. Sandra W. Smith