Texas Governor Signs Sanctuary Cities Ban into Law

Tomas Mccoy
May 10, 2017

The renewed focus on "sanctuary cities" comes as President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have vowed to strip funding from local governments that have policies that are created to limit cooperation with or involvement in federal immigration enforcement actions.

Texas pushed to the forefront of national debate over immigration Sunday night when Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed a so-called "sanctuary cities" ban that lets police ask during routine stops whether someone is in the US legally and threatens sheriffs with jail if they don't cooperate with federal immigration agents. Under the law, local officers who won't cooperate with federal immigration agents could face jail time and fines up to $25,000 per day.

Under SB 4, he said these policies will no longer be tolerated in Texas. It also punishes law enforcement leaders who don't fully comply with federal immigration law.

Many law enforcement agencies and faith-based organizations have said the law opens up the state to legalized racial profiling and could also place US citizens in the crosshairs of local police who want to enforce immigration law. "The state of Texas, and every law enforcement officer, must respect those rights".

Abbott joined Martha MacCallum on Fox News Monday night to talk about the a new Texas bill that effectively bans sanctuary cities.

Some municipalities in the Lone Star State agreed with the Mexican foreign ministry, with San Antonio Police Chief William McManus also criticizing Abbott's action. Paxton's suit is geared towards adding tougher measures to the newly signed anti-sanctuary city law. We thought, 'why not consolidate these, get it on, and find out more quickly that our law law is constitutional?

It bans cities, counties and universities from prohibiting their local law enforcement officers from asking about immigration status or enforcing immigration law.

Clint representative Mary González urged the Texas House of Representatives to keep the language about status inquiries limited to only people under arrest, saying that immigrant would fear reaching out to police if they were victims of a crime, like sexual assault. Once the law goes into effect on September 1, the law will "encourage racial profiling by untrained immigration agents", according to a statement from the ACLU of Texas.

"The ACLU's goal is to protect all Texans and all people traveling through Texas - regardless of their immigration status - from illegal harassment by law enforcement", said Lorella Praeli, ACLU director of immigration policy and campaigns, in a statement.

Opponents of the law immediately condemned the law and promised to see the governor in court. "This is a public safety issue that requires swift resolution". Still, law enforcement groups say it'll make communities less safe.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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