The Texas House moved forward on a weakened version of the Senate’s anti-sanctuary city bill following a 16-hour debate that ended at 3 a.m. Thursday. Democrats offered nearly 200 amendments to the bill in an effort to delay its passage.
House members voted 93-to-54 to advance the bill to a final reading and ultimately to its passage, according to House records obtained by Breitbart Texas. The vote on final passage is expected later on Thursday.
Despite amendments weakening the engrossed Senate version, SB4 still contains provisions creating a criminal penalty and removal from office for sheriffs and chiefs of police who fail to cooperate with officials regarding jailed illegal immigrants.
One amendment, which strengthened provisions in the bill, allows a law enforcement officer to inquire about the immigration status of a person who is simply detained and not yet arrested, KEYE CBS Austin reported.
Upon final passage, the House and Senate will appoint a committee to resolve differences between the House version and the Senate version passed in February.
DREAMers and supporters of illegal immigrants gathered at the Texas Capitol on Wednesday to protest the bill and urge the House to deny passage, Breitbart Texas reported Wednesday. Democrats announced plans to derail the bill’s passage through the amendment process.
“The Texas House Democratic Caucus and Mexican American Legislative Caucus have prepared a robust, multi-pronged strategy for the debate,” Representative Eddie Rodriguez stated. “However, the organizations anticipate that SB 4’s proponents might exploit rarely used procedural tactics to cut off the proceedings prematurely.” Many Democrat House members dressed in black during the debate.
Representative Victoria Neave called for a pseudo-hunger strike, asking her fellow Democrats to fast in opposition to the bill.
Ultimately, the efforts by House Democrats to kill the bill failed as Republicans pushed forward to the 3 a.m. passing Thursday morning.
The bill is scheduled to receive a vote for final passage in the House on Thursday before moving to a Senate-House conference committee to resolve remaining differences. From there, the bill will be presented to Governor Greg Abbott who has repeatedly stated he will sign the bill.