Texas sanctuary city law shows the rule of law is under attack
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Unable to pass legislation or win at the ballot box, Texas Democrats chose to disrupt the final day of the legislative session Monday and physically accost a conservative lawmaker in a dangerous display of the progressive movement’s war on the rule of law.

Every official in Texas — from the lowest municipal office to the governor — takes an oath to uphold the state and U.S. constitutions as well as the laws of both the federal and state governments.


The left gave no reprieve to conservative, evangelical Christians who were forced to implement the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision on gay marriage. Far-left progressives should not expect our acquiescence when they refuse to cooperate with federal authorities and uphold the nation’s immigration laws.


Such is the essence of Senate Bill 4, the ban on sanctuary cities signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott on May 7. The measure is “controversial” only in the sense that Democrats have chosen to reject the rule of law and abandon their oaths of office as it applies to immigration.

Protests against this law have the feel of a manufactured controversy. A poll conducted by the University of Texas found wide support amongst Texans for a ban on sanctuary cities — including 79 percent of Republicans. In a state where the GOP holds every statewide office and nearly two-thirds of the Texas Legislature, it’s easy to understand why the measure moved.

What’s less easy to understand are the liberal protesters who showed up a month after the bill was signed to disrupt the final day of the legislative session. They weren’t there to stop the law, or even to change it. They were they to provoke and attack.

Protestors claiming to be illegal aliens filled the House Gallery with signs reading “Undocumented and Unafraid,” and “Here to stay” and chanting loud enough that business could not proceed on the floor.

One GOP lawmaker, state Rep. Matt Rinaldi of Irving, decided to uphold his oath and report the lawbreakers to the appropriate authorities. For his trouble, Rinaldi was physically accosted on the House floor. Rinaldi said one Democrat threatened his life, adding he promised to follow him home to exact violent retribution.

The threats were taken seriously by the state’s top law enforcement agency, and Rinaldi and his pregnant wife were placed under immediate protection.

Ironically, the legislator who allegedly threatened Rinaldi’s life — Democrat State Rep. Poncho Nevarez of Eagle Pass — made news two years ago when he claimed that threats had been made against his life by Second Amendment advocates and demanded that the rules be changed so that “panic buttons” could be installed in legislators’ offices.

But despite grandstanding on the issue for months and winning a rules amendment establishing procedures for “panic buttons,” records later revealed that Nevarez never even requested one be installed in his office.

Like he was then, Nevarez appears to simply be out for another headline and another opportunity to play the victim. Indeed this time he’s gone on CNN and other national media outlets to blame Rinaldi as the aggressor.

Sadly, Nevarez isn’t the only one promoting physical conflict and threats on individuals who don’t assent to their demands.

Progressives have rapidly devolved into a party of violence, from riots on college campuses protesting conservative speakers, to attacks on a legislator for making a phone call. Because Texans have rejected their leftist vision for Texas, Democrats like Nevarez seemingly prefer the chaos of a mob over the rule of law.

A quarter-century since last winning a statewide race, Democrats have driven themselves further out of touch with Texans. And until Democrats check their unhinged disdain for conservatives, and push back against their violent tendencies, Texans will continue to reject them.

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the president of Empower Texans. He is a former newspaper reporter, Capitol Hill staffer, Texas Public Policy Foundation vice president and Eagle Scout. Sullivan is a graduate of Texas A&M University. Follow him on Twitter @MQSullivan. 

The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.