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State Senator Duncan Responds to Governor Perry’s Criticism on Failure to Pass or Include Sanctuary City Legislation

Ben Sklar, Getty Images

After Governor Rick Perry singled out a West Texas lawmaker as a cause of key legislation not passing Tuesday evening, the senator responded to the criticism the next day.

District 28 State Senator Robert Duncan issued a statement Wednesday regarding sanctuary city legislation, which would give immigration violations equal priority to violent crimes, require a check of immigration status before issuing a driver’s license, and would require officers to check the immigration status of a person when they are arrested.

Perry said “Unfortunately, SB1 Conference Committee Chairman Robert Duncan ultimately refused to allow language related to the ban of sanctuary cities into the final version of Senate Bill 1. Because of this action, the special session will not provide our peace officers with the discretion they need to adequately keep Texans safe from those that would do them harm.”

Duncan’s response claimed that adding the sanctuary city legislation to SB 1, which certifies the budget and provides school funding could have caused issues for both legislation.

Duncan’s full response is included below.

“I am a joint author of SB 9, the sanctuary cities legislation that the Senate passed on June 15th. This was comprehensive legislation that dealt with the issue of enforcement of state and federal laws and prohibition of sanctuary cities. The primary purpose of SB 1 was to certify the budget and provide funding four our public schools. Combining school finance issues in SB 1 with sanctuary cities issues would have placed both of these important measures in jeopardy. My Senate colleagues on the SB 1 conference committee and members of the Senate Republican Caucus were clear about their desire to keep these two issues separate. I agreed and held firm on this position.”

The Senate adjourned Tuesday afternoon, a day before the special session was required to end.

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