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Senator's office responds to Hernandez 'terrorism' charge

Published: Apr. 18, 2015 at 12:34 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 16, 2015 at 8:51 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock City Councilman Victor Hernandez had some strong words for Senator Charles Perry on Thursday, in response to his proposed immigration bill.

Senate Bill 185 would take away funding from police departments whose officers don't ask for proof of citizenship if they suspect someone is in the country illegally. In an open letter to Senator Perry, Hernandez called the bill an "act of terrorism" and its author a "racist" and a "bigot."

"If you look at the definition of terrorism, it fits perfectly - 'a terroristic method of governing or resisting government; the use of threats or violence to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes,'" Hernandez said. "I'm not the one engaging in that. I'm the one simply pointing it out."

SB 185 focuses on outlawing "sanctuary cities," areas where authorities do not enforce federal immigration laws. These areas are said to serve as safe havens for undocumented immigrants; but Hernandez said this legislation is addressing a non-issue.

"There are no sanctuary cities in the state of Texas," Hernandez said. "In fact, back in 2011, when this legislation was initially proposed, the Texas Municipal League did a survey of their cities and found none."

Senator Perry's camp responded to Hernandez's post, saying:

"It is disappointing to see Mr. Hernandez once again release a divisive statement rather than engaging in a productive policy discussion on the issues important to the people of Texas. Our bill does nothing more than instruct entities to obey laws we currently have on the books."

Hernandez stands by his stance, saying that the bill would negatively impact the state's law enforcement, economy, and would promote racial profiling.

"This is a highly complex issue that's going to take pragmatic, moderate individuals finding solutions not only at the local [and] state level, but at the federal level," Hernandez said. "It's going to require cooperation – something that the Tea Party is not willing to even try."

Hernandez said that he hasn't spoken to Perry personally, but said that he is open to meet and discuss the bill with him. He plans on joining others who oppose the bill for a rally on Saturday at the Amigos on North University at 2 p.m.

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