Gov. Greg Abbott has signed the state's sanctuary city ban into law, achieving one of his major legislative goals for the session and putting into statute a bill that is nearly certainly on its way to legal challenges from opponents.
A Houston Chronicle editorial criticized Senate Bill 4 by writing that Gov. Abbott had Texas "once again following the lead of states in thrall to tea-party populists with little sense of the greater good".
The law will go into effect September 1.
"We all support legal immigration".
Republicans have a strong majority in the Legislature and shoved aside Democratic objections to push the bill.
The law will prohibit cities from using the "sanctuary" status that stops local law enforcement officials from conducting an investigation about the immigration status of any person they detain. On Friday, protest groups announced plans to picket the Capitol early next week, anticipating that Abbott might sign the bill into law on Monday or Tuesday.
After signing the bill, Abbott proclaimed: "Texas has now banned sanctuary cities in the Lone Star State".
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"Citizens expect law enforcement officers to enforce the law and citizens deserve law breakers to face legal consequences", Abbott said in the video.
It would also result in a misdemeanor charge for sheriffs, police chiefs and constables who fail to comply with detention requests and in removal from office for elected and appointed officials, Abbott's office said.
Greg Abbott took the unusual step of signing the legislation - which threatens sheriffs with arrest if they refuse to cooperate with federal authorities - during a live Facebook video broadcast.
It also directs local law enforcement officials to enforce immigration laws alongside their regular duties.Gov. Abbott just gave T.
In fact, Congress was so quaking in its boots about the prospect of states mutinying and convening a confab to alter the Constitution that at virtually the same time Texas was approving its call, the U.S. House was passing a new health care law without waiting to see how much it will cost - potentially adding billions to already mountainous federal deficits. His spokesman, John Wittman, later said they chose to sign the bill on a Facebook livestream because that's "where most people are getting their news nowadays".
Republicans want local police to help federal immigration agents crack down on criminal suspects in the USA illegally. He said the law will require officers be trained in federal immigration law.
The new law is expected to face legal challenges.
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