Texas City Gets Weird With Legal Aid For Illegals



Deep in the heart of Texas, San Antonio city officials are thumbing their noses at the state’s anti-sanctuary law by offering free legal services for illegal aliens.

The Alamo City, which is challenging Senate Bill 4 in federal court, created a new position of Immigration Community Liaison and diverted $150,000 from the general fund to pay for the “free” services.

San Antonio is subsidizing three private organizations that cater to illegals: American Gateways, Catholic Charities and the Refugee & Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES).

“Why should taxpayers who pay federal taxes to enforce immigration laws also pay local taxes to defend illegal aliens?” asks George Rodriguez, a San Antonio activist.

Excellent question. Turns out that Keeping-It-Weird Austin isn’t the only blue island in Texas’ sea of red.

Though San Antonio municipal government is deeply in debt and riddled with corruption and incompetence, its elected officials have spared no expense retaining attorneys to fight SB4.

This month, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld most of the Texas law outlawing sanctuary cities. Judges are still weighing the section that holds local officials liable for “adopting, enforcing or endorsing” policies that prohibit or circumvent the enforcement of immigration laws.

Logically interpreted, that section discourages, if not outlaws, taxpayer-funded services for illegals. Whether San Antonio is violating the letter of the law, the city’s legal-aid gambit is a clear attempt to subvert SB 4’s intent of facilitating cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.

City Attorney Andy Segovia insists that San Antonio’s program “does not violate SB 4 in design and practice.” Besides, he notes, “The Immigration and Nationality Act does not define the term ‘illegal immigrant.’”

“The initiation of deportation proceedings against a person is not evidence of illegal status any more than being charged with a crime at an arraignment is evidence that a person is a criminal,” Segovia asserted. “Until the government meets its burden of proving that a person is deportable from the United States they are not ‘illegal.’”

In its defense of illegally present aliens, San Antonio touts itself as a “SAFE (Safety and Fairness for Everyone) City.” Last year, it obtained a $100,000 grant from the Vera Institute of Justice to expand legal services for illegals.

Yet San Antonio, like sanctuary jurisdictions across the country, is anything but safe. Home to an estimated 85,000 illegal aliens, the city ranked worst among large U.S. cities for “serious crimes” in a 2017 FBI report.

Flouting national and state laws while abusing taxpayers under the guise of “local control” has become standard operating procedure for progressives who dominate San Antonio politics. No one should expect otherwise from Mayor Ron Nirenberg, whose chief of policy was an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a prime litigator in the fight against SB 4

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)’s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

19 Comments

    • avatar
      Sandra Lee Smith on

      “Discrimination” has been given a bad rap for many decades! The fact is that we ALL practice forms of discrimination multiple times each and every day, from early in our lives! Every time you make a choice between 2items, or more, YOU are discriminating against the others! And guess what? That’s NOT an evil act! It is, in fact, an human right; God gave each and every one of us free will to choose the paths of our lives (what He did not give any is the “right” to force another to accept, choose, or adhere to his choices). Leftist, over the past 6-7 decades have taken the word “discrimination” (synonymous with choice), and redefined it to mean an evil act of exclusion, only, in their “divide and conquer” march to Satan’s 1 world gov’t! It’s not. Even choosing to exclude some people from the privilege ( there is NO “right to invade another sovereign nation, at any time for any reason!) of immigration to your nation is not evil! Every gov’t on Earth has as it’s primary duty, the protection of it’s own native citizens, not foreign Invaders, which is what those who come ILLEGALLY into any sovereign nation are, just as much as if they were part of a foreign, ivading army. A home owner has a right to discriminate about who enters his home, and so does every nation have the right to discriminate who enters their nation. A person entering to steal or do harm may be rejected out of hand freely and rightly, by the individual and the nation. Indeed, both the home owner and the national gov’t which allows such person’s entry is not just remiss in his duty, but crminally so, especially the gov’t that does!
      Bottom line, we need to be much more discriminating in our modern world; not less so.

  1. avatar
    Gloria Wedemeyer on

    I would be leaving this city as soon as possible. I hate it when citizens have to foot the bill for illegals and that is exactly what they are, not undocumented. When there are plenty of citizens who need assistance and this city is wasting their money on people who shouldn’t have been here in the first place.

  2. avatar

    Immigrants, we are all immigrants! From the beginning, after the cold thick ice had melt away in our nothern countries in Scandinavia people came from the south and from the east for hunting reindeers. They were reindeerhunters, we call them so. Since that time people have come, immigrating to say for living, working in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. Even today. Immigration is natural, necessary and normal. People want a better life, better conditions for their own life, that’s how the world is developing! Since 2015 Swden has got 160 000 refugees. And we can handle it! In Sweden we are soon about 10 million people. In the world there are about 40 million refugees. Like Angela Merkel in Germany says: We can handle it! Like America did since the year of about 1850 when more than millions of people came from Sweden, from the European countries to northern America, searching for a better life. Economic refugees so to say. My grandmothers brother Gillis in 1905 emigrated from Motala to NewYork. Now I have a lot of cousins, relatives there. This summer we will meet some of them here in Sweden. Let people come, let them work, let their children go to school, let them be legal, let them be welcomed! We people need each other, people need people to develope the world! That’s true! Ingalill Tufvesson Swanström in Sweden, Uppsala.

    • avatar

      I bet literally ALL of our immigrants in the past made their own way! They did not stick out their hands for gimmie welfare, food, housing, medical, education. They worked! When they became citizens, they pledged allegiance to the United States, and not the country from which they came! These new ILLEGALS don’t want to do that! I say, go back to the country from which you are still waving its flag!

      • avatar

        I agree… these people who think that everyone should be able to just come in and live off the government, needs to wake up.. keep that garbage up and we will have NO country…. ANYONE is welcome to come and live and work but do it legally…. follow the laws, work hard to become a citizen if that is what they want… but citizenship should NOT JUST BE HANDED TO THEM FREE!!! My family cane and did not take a thing from the government.. they worked hard to contribute to their communities and worked hard to become a citizen…
        people want to lump immigrants and illegal aliens into one group and they are NOT the same… immigrants are those who came legally, illegal aliens are people who came illegally….
        our politicians have absolutely destroyed the meaning and value of our citizenship… it’s appalling

      • avatar
        Gail Nancy Ingersoll on

        How right you are. I am fourth generation from a European country. When my ancestors came, they were proud to be citizens and be called Americans. No one in my home town were called Polish-American; Italian-American; Irish- American; German- American or anything else….they were/are AMERICAN. Proudly flew the flag and sent fathers, brothers, husbands to fight for this country. Learned the English language and made sure their children did also. They added to the community by building a business and paying taxes. It was never ever thought of to ask for help, they worked hard and were proud to do so. It makes me sick when there are sanctuary cities in this country protecting illegals … some who kill, rape, steal and sell drugs. What don’t they understand about illegal….it’s breaking the law. It is all political and I’m proud that president Trump is handling this situation. I just wish all the Republicans would help him and wish the Democrats and Liberals would stop whining and help him also. How much more could be done if that happened.

    • avatar

      NO NON-CITIZEN HAS A RIGHT TO BE IN THE COUNTRY!!! people who want to come to America are welcome to come live and work, BUT DO IT LEGALLY!!! the meaning and value of our citizenship has absolutely been destroyed… WHY bother working hard, following laws, when an illegal alien is handed OUR rights and benefits just by coming illegally… A country without borders is NOT a country and at some point it will collapse under the strain…
      If you think they should just be allowed to go wherever they want with no questions… how about you open your home to anyone who wants to come live in it and YOU pay for their support.. education, medical, etc… how long do you think you will be able to keep going before you sink…
      Use some common sense… people are welcome to come to America…BUT DO IT LEGALLY!!! FOLLOW THE LAWS!!! RESPECT OUR LAWS, RESPECT OUR CITIZENS, RESPECT OUR COUNTRY!!! I would NEVER think of going to another country illegally!!

    • avatar

      We’re an immigration country, we don’t against immigration! But we’re talking about ILLIGAL here! Do you understand the word “illigal”? If you want to be living here, this country has a law, do it the way the laws said! Apply for it and wait for your turn! There are millions of people are waiting to be here legally! You just cannot cut in the front of the line and expect To be accepted legally! Please use your head! Do not wast the brain!!!!

    • avatar
      Sandra Lee Smith on

      There is legal immigration and illegal migration ( invasion). Legal immigrants come with permission from the nation they seek to enter, accommodate themselves to the laws and customs of the adopted nation, and work to make that better life for themselves. ILLEGAL INVADERS come in without permission, find ways to leech from the legal citizens and immigrants in that nation, refuse to accommodate to the laws and customs of that nation, demanding instead that they be accommodated to by the citizens and legal immigrants of the nation, and continue to violate the laws of that nation after arrival there in.
      Legal immigrants come to build; illegal Invaders come to steal, kill, and destroy. No nation, no individual, owes a single illegal invader anything, except deportation to whence he came.

  3. avatar

    The only aid that would benefit the legal citizens of Texas, USA is to bus the illegals to ICE so they can be dropped back into Mexico.

  4. avatar

    It’s the sanctuary states and cities that should be designated as “red” because most of them are “in the red” due to their spending on the illegals they encourage to come to live there. Then they end up raising taxes constantly and not funding their massive pension liabilities. As Margaret Thatcher said, socialism works until you run out of other peoples money.

    • avatar

      for sure… The governor of Texas has been trying to defund and Stop these sanctuary cities and they are suing him… it’s absolutely disgusting that these people want to hold these illegal aliens above the laws and above the citizens.. they cater to these illegal aliens while they kick the citizens in the teeth… IT IS APPALLING!!
      THE POLITICIANS HAVE ABSOLUTELY DESTROYED THE MEANING AND VALUE OF OUR CITIZENSHIP…

  5. avatar

    Stop spending TAXES of American Citizens on illegal immigrants!

    Let’s VOTE OUT these TRAITORS, no matter what they call themselves or their organizations!

    ELECTIONS ARE COMING / VOTE

    • avatar

      AMEN!!! If we don’t get rid of these TRAITORS this country is eventually going to be so deep into the bottom of their cesspool, we will never get out… Heaven help this country if we don’t clean up this lawlessness… the politicians have absolutely destroyed the meaning and value of our citizenship… they continue to cater to the illegal aliens while they kick the American citizens in the teeth… People need to start fighting back … or we can kiss our country good-bye

    • avatar

      Thats right vote them out before they do even more damage to your home states. I am so sick of hearing (reading) about Illegal Immigrants they are not freakin Immigrants! They are “Illegal Aliens” an Immigrant is someone who enters a country Legally.

      Definition of immigrant
      : one that immigrates: such as
      a : a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence
      b : a plant or animal that becomes established in an area where it was previously unknown
      — immigrant adjective

      Definition of illegal alien
      : a foreign person who lives in a country without having official permission to live there
      Word by Word Definitions
      alien play
      : belonging or relating to another person, place, or thing : strange
      : relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government : foreign
      : a person of another family, race, or nation
      : a foreign-born resident who has not been naturalized and is still a subject or citizen of a foreign country
      : extraterrestrial

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