Liberal enclaves threaten conservative hegemony in the Lone Star State.
The general perception of Texas as reliably conservative is accurate: its rural and suburban areas are overwhelmingly red, and currently ensure a conservative policy direction at the statewide level. But enclaves within the Lone Star State, centered around Texas’s rapidly growing major cities, and composed of progressive elected officials, the statewide press corps, the higher-education establishment, and the state’s influential K-12 school districts, represent a liberal movement that, if allowed to thrive, could undermine the Texas Model—the sound limited-government philosophy that has fueled the state’s enviable prosperity.
In Austin—the state capital—the city council recently voted ten-to-one to grant $200,000 in emergency funding to provide legal assistance to illegal immigrants. The one council member who spoke out against the measure, Ellen Troxclair, was accused of racism and admonished by her colleague Sabino Renteria: “We opened our arms to the Europeans when they came into Texas and Mexico.” The area surrounding Austin, Travis County, is also dominated by liberal officials. For example, despite the objections of Texas governor Greg Abbott, Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez recently announced that she will no longer honor immigration detainers requested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), except in limited circumstances involving capital murder or aggravated sexual assault, effectively making Travis County a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Not to be outdone, a union representing teachers at the Austin Independent School District distributed a bilingual flier to its 3,000 members entitled “What to Do if ICE Comes to Your Door,” and the AISD board of trustees unanimously passed a resolution supporting “undocumented students.”
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