Texas Cops Can Now Ask Anyone, Including Children, About Their Immigration Status


On Thursday, the Texas House of Representatives voted 93-54 to pass a measure prohibiting sanctuary cities and allowing law enforcement to ask anyone, even children, about their immigration status.

MORE: Latina Lawmaker on Four-Day Hunger Strike in Protest of Texas' 'Sanctuary City' Bill

The bill, SB 4, forces local jurisdictions to satisfy Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests.

The initial House version of the bill only allowed officers to ask people who were under arrest about their status; however, on Wednesday, Republican Representative Matt Schaefer made some changes, including adding “detention” language back into the bill.

Representative Diego Bernal, a Democrat who previously called SB 4 the “show-me-your-papers legislation,” attempted to add an exemption for children.

For him, all lawmakers, regardless of their political stance, should agree that the police should not interrogate children about their immigration status. However, only two Republicans, and all Democrats, voted against it.

“I was trying to find something where I believed there was actually common ground,” Bernal told the Observer. “I had talked to a lot of the members individually about it, saying I was going to propose something along those lines, and person to person, they expressed support for it. But I guess they couldn’t vote to it.”

PLUS: Trump Administration Greenlights a New Immigration Detention Center in Texas

Bernal said the vote was “soul-crushing.”