Gov. Abbott signs ban on so-called 'sanctuary cities'

Kelly Massey
May 10, 2017

A small Texas town on the Mexico border filed suit in federal court on Tuesday seeking to throw out on US constitutional grounds a new Texas law that aims to punish so-called "sanctuary cities".

Governor Greg Abbott signed a law targeting so-called "sanctuary cities" that allows police to ask about a person's immigration status and threatens sheriffs with jail if they don't cooperate with federal authorities on Sunday.

Governor Abbott also promised court action, saying any local official who violates the new law will be locked up and communities with sanctuary city polices will be subject to fines and penalties of up to $25,000 per day. The state of Texas has filed a federal lawsuit in order to get SB4 declared constitutional.

"SB 4 is constitutional, lawful and a vital step in securing our borders", he said in a statement. It also punishes law enforcement leaders who don't fully comply with federal immigration law. "The state of Texas, and every law enforcement officer, must respect those rights".

The Secretary of Foreign Relations on Monday said in a statement that the Texas law signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott "criminalizes even more the phenomenon of immigration".

According to the previous federal law, a city was not required to abide by ICE's requests, allowing each official to exercise their judgment in detaining an individual, unless the request was accompanied by a warrant signed by a judge. This is a law that the legislature has reasonably passed that basically says cities, counties can not prohibit law enforcement from asking about immigration status.

The governor explained that if law enforcement officers apprehend someone who can not "provide paperwork", they aren't required to inform the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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Texas A&M Law Professor Lynne Rambo talks with the Standard about what Texans should expect on September 1 - when the law is scheduled to go into effect.

A Fort Worth Police Department spokesman said officers will continue to work under their current policies until directed otherwise.

The Texas bill, known as S.B.

Judicial Watch describes itself as a "conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law".

"This law is inherently racist and is about racism; it invites racial profiling against people of color by law enforcement", Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU in Texas, said on a conference call with reporters.

Hernandez and the other police chiefs have said they would helped the ACLU fight the ban in court.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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