Abbott Bans Sanctuary Cities in Texas

Texas lawmakers passed the anti-sanctuary city measure at the urging of Republicans shortly after a US judge blocked implementation of President Donald Trump's executive order yanking federal funds from cities that don't fully comply with USA government demands on immigrants who could face deportation over even minor offenses.

The Greater Houston Coalition for Justice (GHCFJ) held a press conference Tuesday in which it called Abbott's signing a disgrace to the Houston Hispanic community.

The ACLU said more than a dozen of its state affiliates have issued their own travel advisories against Texas including California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law on Sunday banning sanctuary city policies.

In January, Hernandez instructed her deputies and jailers that they were not allowed to ask anyone's immigration status and imposed a limit on the amount of help her department gave to federal immigration enforcement agents.

Opponents blast the Texas bill as a version of Arizona's immigration crackdown law, SB 1070, which launched protests, lawsuits and national controversy in 2010. Critics also fear it will lead to the racial profiling of Hispanics and put officers in an untenable position.

"As governor, my top priority is public safety, and this bill furthers that objective by keeping risky criminals off our streets", Abbott said.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a so-called "sanctuary cities" ban that lets police ask during routine stops whether someone is in the US legally.

"I think when the Texas attorney general is suing you, you are doing something right, and I think that we have often said that Austin is a welcoming city, and we often said we disagree with SB 4 and its intent", Garza said.

SB 4 will go into effect on September 1, when Texas law enforcement officials could face termination, fines and even up to a year in prison if they do not fully defer to ICE agents. Its passage is a major victory for Abbott and Republicans who advocate for stricter enforcement of immigration law.

He says a written department policy prohibiting questions about immigration status was added several years ago following community meetings.

"They did not connect the history of our culture or how closely that it is tied to Mexico", Democratic state. "They don't really see this as affecting people".

According to a report by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in the case of Texas, Travis County State Jail refused 14 and Travis City Jail 118 detainers in one go in February.

But Sally Hernandez, the sheriff of Travis County, which includes liberal Austin, has refused to honor federal requests to detain immigrants if the suspects weren't arrested for immigration offenses or serious crimes such as murder. This is Abbott's second gambit against the sheriff: he has already cut off some of her county's budget in response to her attitude towards immigrants.

  • Larry Hoffman