HOUSTON, TX — On Sunday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, while broadcasting on Facebook Live, signed into law what is being called one of the toughest anti-sanctuary bills in the country.
“Texas has now banned sanctuary cities in the Lone Star state,” said Abbott.
Texas Senate Bill 4 permits imprisonment and heavy fines on state and city law enforcement officials who fail to enforce federal immigration laws, effectively banning “sanctuary” jurisdictions in the state of Texas.
The bill also contains a controversial provision that allows local peace officers to question the immigration status of people they legally detain.
The bill extends to government facilities and services, which have been typically shielded, including domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, pre-kindergarten schools, public schools and school events such as football games.
The also bill has a provision that forces college campus administrators to comply — which opponents have argued would allow college students to be deported for relatively minor offenses, such as being a minor in possession of alcohol.
Under the new law, only employees at places of worship can be exempt from compliance with federal immigration officers.
Addressing “sanctuary” jurisdictions was declared an emergency item by Gov. Greg Abbott. Local jurisdictions that don’t comply with federal immigration laws could face fines of up to $25,000 per day. Police chiefs, sheriffs or mayors of those towns could also face criminal charges.
The bill passed after 16 hours of emotional debate on the Senate floor, with Democrat House members working to block it.
“This topic is painful for me,” said Rep. Gene Wu (District 137). “My parents are immigrants. I represent a district filled with immigrants. Some are here as refugees, some are here as citizens. Some are here without papers, but they are all my people.”
“It’s about protecting our communities. We don’t want those individuals who have committed crimes, illegal or otherwise, that wouldn’t have had an opportunity to be locked up for public safety, to be released at the discretion of a local law enforcement,” said Sen. Charles Perry (District 28).
The ruling also comes last Tuesday, when after a federal judge ruled that President Donald Trump exceeded his authority, when he signed an executive order withholding federal money from “sanctuary” cities in the country.
Im hoping CA will do the same ….