GUEST VIEW: Ban won’t deter legal immigrationState Rep. Brooks Landgraf was elected in 2014 to House District 81, which encompasses Andrews, Ector, Ward, and Winkler Counties.

One of the bills I will work on during the current legislative session at the Texas Capitol is a measure to prohibit local governments from refusing to enforce federal immigration laws. Municipalities that provide safe haven to persons not lawfully in the United States are often called “sanctuary cities.”
I’m proud to support a statewide ban on sanctuary cities.
However, I want to be clear about the purpose of this legislation: to eliminate a magnet for illegal immigration.
Legal immigration is a fundamental principle that our nation has supported since its inception. It has allowed our nation to develop technologies that have revolutionized the world. It has fostered leaders that have helped shape our current times. Legal immigration must continue in the United States.
A ban on sanctuary cities would do nothing to inhibit or deter legal immigration. In my view, the existence of sanctuary cities that attract illegal immigrants and incentivize illegal immigration actually undermine legal immigration and punish those individuals who are trying to enter the United States through lawful means.
In public meetings throughout the last several weeks, I’ve noticed the line between legal immigration and illegal immigration has become blurred.
Moving forward, I think that it’s important to make clear that there is a distinction between legal and illegal immigration. As a Republican policy maker, I fully support policies that protect and promote legal immigration; and I strongly oppose policies that condone or excuse illegal immigration.
The greatest threat to our rich immigration history is illegal immigration, and sanctuary cities are a real part of the equation when it comes to illegal immigration. While there is certainly room to discuss how best to move forward with legal immigration policies, the fact remains that illegal immigration provides economic challenges and cheapens the process that tens of thousands of lawful individuals seek.
I believe that thoughtful immigration policy that is focused on national security and economic progress will allow our nation to continue to thrive and ensure that we remain that “New Colossus” for our world. And in this 85th Legislative Session, I look forward to voting to make sure that our state protects the rule of law and supports our legal immigration policies by outlawing practices that seek to threaten them.
God bless Texas.
State Rep. Brooks Landgraf was elected in 2014 to serve House District 81, which encompasses Andrews, Ector, Ward, and Winkler Counties. Landgraf resides in his hometown of Odessa with his wife, Shelby, and their daughter, Hollis Rose. He works as a cattle rancher and practices law at the firm of Todd, Barron, Thomason, Hudman & Baxter, P.C. in Odessa. An Eagle Scout, Landgraf is also active in several local nonprofits.