State of Texas: In-Depth – Legislative bills and protests

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AUSTIN (KXAN) – Protesters hit the streets in downtown Austin last week, as part of the “Day Without Immigrants” rally.  It was a nationwide event, but the emotions are particularly high in Texas.

Some have heightened fear amid reports of increased action by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  That’s heightened further by the debate over Senate Bill 4, which would ban so-called sanctuary city policies.  Bob Garrett, Austin Bureau reporter for the Dallas Morning News discussed the debate on Sunday’s State of Texas: In-depth.

“Now, we’re having marches almost every day down Congress Avenue,” Garrett said.  But he doubts the protests will stop the bill. “We’ve all along thought something would pass both chambers.  Something will get out of the House on sanctuary cities.”

Reporter Morgan Smith from The Texas Tribune helped create a series of reports called “Sold Out” which focuses on sex trafficking throughout Texas.  Part of the series looks at the link between problems with the state’s troubled child welfare system and trafficking.  The issue has earned attention from lawmakers, but that hasn’t led to much action.

“Sex trafficking is something that top elected officials and lawmakers have been talking about for years,” Smith said.

“Almost every single session there’s been some kind of large anti-sex trafficking bill that’s passed, usually with bipartisan support.  Lots of press conferences, but it still continued to be a problem.”

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