Tags: Homeland Security | greg abbott | sanctuary city | bill | sign | texas

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to Sign Strong Anti-Sanctuary Bill

Image: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to Sign Strong Anti-Sanctuary Bill
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (AP Images)

By    |   Thursday, 04 May 2017 05:03 PM

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this week is expected to sign the nation's toughest ban on sanctuary jurisdictions, imposing heavy fines — even jail time — to local officials who refuse to cooperate with federal immigration agents.

"I'm getting my signing pen warmed up," Abbott said on Twitter this week, The Washington Post reports.

Texas has the second-largest number of illegal immigrants in the country — 1.6 million — and shares the longest portion of the U.S. border with Mexico, 1,254 of the total 1,969 miles.

Under the legislation, passed by Texas Senate in February, local law enforcement can ask detainees about their immigration status, which critics have said was generally reserved for federal agents.

Local governments would also be fined as much as $25,500 a day for policies that block immigration enforcement, the Post reports.

In addition, officials who refuse to cooperate with federal agents could lose their elected or appointed jobs — while sheriffs and other law officers would face misdemeanor charges if they ignored requests to detain immigrants.

Those offenses would bring as much as a year in jail and fines, the Post reports.

The bill takes effect on Sept. 1.

Abbott said after the bill passed that he would "not tolerate sanctuary-city policies that put the citizens of Texas at risk," according to the report.

"Elected officials do not get to pick and choose which laws they will obey," he said.

Police chiefs, religious leaders and teachers opposed the legislation — and they vowed Thursday to take their grievances to court.

"The intention is there to terrorize and put more fear in the community here in Texas," Eduardo Canales director of the South Texas Human Rights Center, told the Post. "It’s a horrible bill."

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this week is expected to sign the nation's toughest ban on sanctuary jurisdictions, imposing heavy fines - even jail time - to local officials who refuse to cooperate with federal immigration agents.
greg abbott, sanctuary city, bill, sign, texas
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2017-03-04
Thursday, 04 May 2017 05:03 PM
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