Dallas Democrat Fasts to Protest Texas Anti-Sanctuary Cities Bill

Representative Victoria Neave

Senate Bill 4 will go up for debate tomorrow in the House.

The bill also penalizes communities that fail to comply: The head of a department whose agency violates the law could face criminal prosecution, while the agency could be fined at least $1,000 and as much as $25,000 for each recurring violation.

Fort Worth Republican Charlie Geren, the bill's sponsor, even weighed in on Neave's protest, telling the Austin American-Statesman that he "didn't get to be a fat white boy by not eating".

"I want people to know how awful this law is", Neave said, according to The Dallas Morning News.

'What else can I do to defeat this bill?' she said of her hunger strike.

"My fear is that it will pass, but I am fasting and praying and hoping the hearts of other lawmakers will be soften to vote against this bill as well", she said.

On Tuesday, a federal judge blocked President Donald Trump's January executive order on immigration that would have withheld federal funds from cities deemed sanctuary cities.

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But Neave, who represents parts of Dallas, Mesquite and Garland, said she doesn't accept the argument that sanctuary cities unfairly protect undocumented immigrants, some who may commit more unsafe crimes.

According to a Facebook page for the strike, "This bill will undermine community policing efforts and will affect our neighbors, our workforce, kids in our schools, and the relationship between police and our communities".

"Individuals are not going to want to report crimes".

Neave says her hunger protest is one last push to shut the bill down.

"This is going to make our communities less safe, not more safe", Neave said.

But many Democrats and immigrant rights advocates fear the measure would lead to racial profiling, incite fear and create a chilling effect in immigrant communities. For her, this hunger strike is a spiritual matter, a way of "trying to give everything I can, everything of myself".

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