Texas governor signs law banning 'sanctuary cities'

Jay Jacobs
May 10, 2017

Texas' attorney general sued local jurisdictions in the Austin area in a preemptive bid to uphold a new state law against "sanctuary cities".

Abbott on Sunday, May 7, 2017, 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.

Travis County, the city of Austin, and many other local officials are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Mexican federal officials say they're concerned about Texas' new law banning sanctuary cities, and what the disproportionate impact it will have on Mexicans.

Paxton asked a federal judge to make a ruling on the constitutionality of SB 4.

The move by Texas to criminalize non-cooperation comes less than two weeks after a federal judge in San Francisco blocked the Trump administration from withholding certain US funds from regions that decline to assist stepped-up enforcement of immigration laws leading to deportation. The ACLU says this will lead to "widespread racial profiling, baseless scrutiny, and illegal arrests of citizens and non-citizens alike presumed to be "foreign" based on how they look or sound". It also directs local law enforcement officials to enforce immigration laws alongside their regular duties.

"Texans expect us to keep them safe, and that is exactly what we are going to do by me signing this law", Gov.

SB 4 was also opposed by top cops in Dallas, Houston, Austin, Arlington, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, as well as the Texas Police Chiefs Association.

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The head of the American Civil Liberties Union in Texas said the group will challenge the law in court and at the ballot box.

"Everyone has constitutional rights in this country", said Lorella Praeli, ACLU director of immigration policy and campaigns.

The is a wide array of critics including some Police Chiefs who "depend on the cooperation of immigrants, legal or not" to assist them in solving crimes.

Amid a flurry of reactions, Gov. Abbott's quote still seems most appropriate: "only criminals should worry about the new law".

The law will go into effect September 1.

Governor Abbott calls this a public safety issue.

El Cenizo, near Laredo, said it has offered refuge since before Texas, the largest Republican-controlled state, was part of the United States. If a Texas sheriff or other law enforcement authority can not lawfully honor an ICE detainer, risky people will slip through the cracks of the justice system and back into our communities.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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