Texas Governor Greg Abbott Signs 'Sanctuary Cities' Ban
According to a press release from the governor's office, the law signed would ban sanctuary cities in the state of Texas, and would require both local government and law enforcement to comply with federal immigration laws.
On Sunday night, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ratified a controversial bill that bans "sanctuary cities" in the state and authorizes the so-called "show me the papers" rule, which will allow police to question the immigration status arrested persons.
Through a live broadcast by Facebook from the Texas Capitol, Abbott announced that he has signed a legislation that seeks to penalize local governments and universities that decide not to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in identifying undocumented immigrants to favor and protect them from deportation.
"As Governor, my top priority is public safety, and this bill furthers that objective by keeping dangerous criminals off our streets," the Texas official said in the brief broadcast.
An Amendment of the law, known as SB4,was passed last week by the House of Representatives that will allow police officers to question the immigration status of people detained in Texas.
"We all support legal immigration. It helped build America and Texas," Abbott added in his video streaming in Facebook. "But legal immigration is different from harboring people who have committed dangerous crimes. This law cracks down on policies like the Travis County sheriff who declared that she would not detain known criminals accused of violent crimes."
Under the proposed "sanctuary cities" bill, Texan sheriffs who are in charge of offices that do not cooperate with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) could end up in jail.
The law also could impose fines up to $25,000 per day on the sheriff’s office.
Minutes after signing the bill, Abbott concluded, “Texas has now banned sanctuary cities.”
According to opponents of the rule, these measures will leave undocumented immigrants in a situation of defenselessness, as they will be exposed to detention and expulsion if they try to report having been victims of any crime or abuse.
"Given the size of the state, this may well be the most costly gubernatorial signature in all of United States history," Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, said, as reported in Time. Texas is the nation's top two in number of Hispanic residents.
Now, after Abbott's signature, the legislation will take effect as of September 1, as stipulated by the rules of Texas law, as reported in EFE.