Lawmakers call Dallas County ‘welcoming community' resolution irresponsible

- One day after the passing of a resolution aimed at welcoming immigrants and refugees to Dallas County, the lieutenant governor and a Dallas state senator are speaking out against it.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said the resolution was a slap in the face to the Texas legislature.

“The reason we passed Senate Bill 4 today is actions like we saw last night, this is unacceptable,” Patrick told FOX4.

Sen. Don Huffines released a statement saying Senate Bill 4 upholds the law. He said the governor, lieutenant governor and state senate are doing their jobs while Dallas County is risking lives locally.

Huffines called the resolution dangerous, irresponsible and reprehensible.

“Dallas County should focus on keeping Texans safe from criminal aliens instead of playing politics and taking jabs at the laws that they swore an oath to uphold. The resolution is irrational, and it is an affront to millions of law abiding legal immigrants,” he said.

Senate Bill 4 calls for jail time for sheriffs and other officials who refuse to enforce federal immigration law. Democrats say the bill would cause immigrant communities to fear police.

Dallas County Commissioners passed their “welcoming communities” resolution with a 4-1 vote Tuesday.

Supporters said it sends a message of hope to immigrants and refugees coming to the county. Among other things, they argue it rejects racial profiling and provides a path of citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

But skeptics argue a part of it calls on local law enforcement officer to end what it calls nonessential collaboration with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

“We are asking to have our hands slapped. Please don’t put us in a position of being labeled a sanctuary city,” said Lee Klein, a Dallas City Council member.

Patrick said Dallas County would be at risk of losing state funds over the resolution.

“Our bill also has civil and criminal penalties,” Patrick said.

County Judge Clay Jenkins says non-essential collaboration does not mean the county is not following federal law.

“Doesn't mean you don’t cooperate with ICE and get them all the information that they are entitled to under the law, it means you don’t go well beyond that into trying to become a mini-ICE agent at the exclusion of having community trust,” Jenkins said.

Patrick offered some advice to commissioners.

“My suggestion is they rethink this vote,” Patrick said. “They risk losing money and they maybe risk losing personal consequences.”

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez has yet to weigh in on the resolution.

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