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Effort At State Capitol To Stall Bill Targeting Sanctuary CIties

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DALLAS (CBS11) - Hundreds of Texans filled the state capitol Thursday trying to stall a bill targeting sanctuary cities.

More than 400 people signed up to testify before the Texas Senate's State Affairs committee.

"I sit in front of you as a former undocumented DREAMer," said Abigail Zapote.

Abigail Zapote says she and her brother graduated from UT Dallas.

"Ironically going to college almost got my brother deported," she said. "A rogue campus police officer decided that my brother's minor traffic violations was reason to send him to county jail with an ICE detainer."

Zapote says the university fired the officer for that and other policy violations.

Senate Bill 4, though, would bar cities, counties and colleges from prohibiting such enforcement of immigration laws.

The bill would allow local police to arrest undocumented immigrants, require jails to check inmates' immigration statuses and strip state funds from cities and counties discouraging enforcement of immigration law.

"You have an opportunity now to follow the will of the voters of Texas," said Micheal McCloskey, a member of the State Republican Executive Committee.

McCloskey was among the minority speaking in favor of the bill, who claimed to speak for the majority of Texans.

As evidence, he pointed to last year's Republican primary, in which 62 percent of voters supported stripping state funds from sanctuary cities.

Political analysts predict the display of opposition will do little to deter Republican leaders.

Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick have both listed the legislation as a top priority.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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