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How Texas Democrats plan to fight the anti-sanctuary cities bill

The Texas Senate will begin its debate on SB4, the anti-sanctuary cities bill filed by State Senator Charles Perry of Lubbock, on Tuesday.

Manny Garcia, of the Texas Democratic Party, said Monday all indicators point to the bill passing through the Senate on its way to the House. Garcia says that is where the bill will see most resistance.

Among the hundreds who testified before a Senate committee hearing that lasted 16 hours last week, attorney Stephanie Gharakhanian, of the Workers Defense Project, was one of many who gave her two minutes before the committee voted 7-2 to pass the bill on to the full Senate.

"This bill is a bill that is not only going to impact the undocumented community, we have serious concerns it's going to impact a lot of communities in the state including communities of color," said Gharakhanian.

"I think folks across Texas are quite literally terrified for their lives" said Garcia.

Garcia said the Democrats are putting most of their effort in the House. He expects the Democrats to debate the bill's moral issues -- saying it encourages racial profiling and is anti-Christian. He also expects Democrats to bring up the economic impact that could negatively affect Texas and the potential conflict the bill may bring to local law enforcement officials.

"(Police) do not want to be deputized in Trump's deportation force. They don't want to be responsible for enforcing federal immigration laws. They have to worry about building a level of trust for their communities," said Garcia.

Gharakhanian hopes moderate conservative lawmakers push against the bill in the House to add to the Democratic resistance. She said, "It goes against traditional conservative values." She expects it to be fought in courts outside the capital if the bill becomes law.

"(Republicans are) diluting us into thinking this is a law and order bill when this is really them grandstanding trying to win points in this post trump world," she said.

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