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Rick Perry and Sanctuary Cities
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He did champion a bill prohibiting sanctuary cities as an emergency item in the 2011 regular session of the Texas Legislature and added it to the call during the special session, but there wasn’t enough resolve in either the legislature or the Governor to overcome the business lobby that was adamantly against the bill. It died in the last special session. It was disappointing to conservatives that the Governor didn’t call another special session to continue the fight, but he maintains that It would have been a waste of taxpayer money to call another special session on an issue that lawmakers would not take action to pass — twice. Rick Perry says he will continue to support the prohibition of sanctuary cities in the future.
The primary critique of Perry was that he was secretly against the sanctuary cities legislation because one of his biggest donors, Perry Homes (no relation) is a home builder and relies upon illegal immigrants for cheap labor. Therefore, Perry didn't fight for the law hard enough because his friends told him not to.
The other side of the story is that Charles Butt, Jr. of the San Antonio-based H-E-B Grocery Stores dynasty and Bob J. Perry (no relation to Rick) of Houston-based home builder Perry Homes, lobbied Perry to secretly kill the sanctuary cities bill in emergency session because these big Republican donors required cheap, illegal labor for their respective businesses. Among the conspiracy theorists pushing this story is Alex Jones, a fringe right "9/11 truther" who runs the Web site, InfoWars out of Austin.
This story has enough pieces of truth in it to make it believable.
However, in Texas, the Texas Legislature calls the shots as to what bill gets pushed through. And insider account suggests that the Butt-Bob Perry alliance leaned heavily on Republican Speaker of the House Joe Strauss to kill the Sanctuary Cities bill. It never arrived at Perry's desk for signature. Previous to this special session, there was a revolt against Speaker Strauss by the Tea Party wing of the Texas Republican Party, but that is a story to be told somewhere else. In any event it is convenient to throw Rick Perry into the fray as a co-conspirator in the the secret plan to kill the bill.
In the 2010 gubernatorial campaign against Bill White, the widow of a slain Houston police officer, Sgt. Joslyn Johnson, backed Perry over Democratic challenger Bill White because Perry promised his support of this very issue. From my personal observations of Perry through the years and understanding his strong support of our first responders and the military, I do not believe Perry is cynical as to play games with his honor, such as secretly killing a bill he strongly advocated in a campaign.
You make the call.