The Nueces County Commissioners Court voted Wednesday against taking any action regarding the issue of SB-4, Texas' Sanctuary Cities law, despite pressure from groups wanting the County to take a stand against the law.
Their vote came to the disappointment of many who are challenging the law in court.
"That law is part of a larger tide of anti-immigrant sentiment that has real consequences for our community," said Claudia Herrera of the Corpus Christi Immigration Coalition.
Herrera was among dozens of citizens crowding into the court, all in opposition to the law, which they say gives law enforcement agents the authority to question the immigration status of anyone detained or arrested.
"What this means is, it creates a two-tier justice system," Herrera said. "If you and I get stopped for a broken taillight, we may get a warning and a citation and move on with our day; but if an undocumented immigrant gets stopped for a broken taillight, it is life altering. Life shattering."
The resolution on Wednesday's agenda asked that commissioners show support against the law, which is currently being challenged in the courts. Commissioner Joe Gonzalez favored it, as did Commissioner John Marez.
"We're just saying, 'Look, in our county this is how we feel, one way or another, no matter what the issue is,'" Marez said. "Could be bathroom bill. Could be SB-4. Could be any other issue."
Commissioner Brent Chesney then came up with another motion saying the County shouldn't get involved with issues it has no control over.
"I'm going to make a motion to amend the resolution to say the Nueces Commissioners Court takes no position on this matter and hereby amends the current resolution, in total, to be amended to this sentence only," Chesney said. "And I will do this on every issue that comes before that I don't think the County should be having a say in."
"We weren't asking them to take a stand on whether or not it was for the courts to decide," Herrera said. "We were asking them to take a moral stand and voice their opposition to the law."
Chesney's motion passed three to two.
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