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Texas Gov. Abbott Signs Measure Targeting 'Sanctuary Cities'

Texas Gov. Abbott Signs Measure Targeting 'Sanctuary Cities'

The governor of the southern USA state of Texas has signed a law banning so-called sanctuary cities and threatening fines and criminal charges for police departments and officers who refuse to comply with orders from federal immigration agents.

"This racist and wrongheaded piece of legislation ignores our values, imperils our communities and sullies our reputation as a free and welcoming state", Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas said in a prepared statement.

They say the "show me your papers" language in the legislation lets law enforcement officers inquire about immigration status during routine encounters, such as traffic stops, and doesn't protect people from such questioning while they're visiting domestic abuse shelters or public schools.

While those states have laws that urge local authorities to assist federal immigration officials, the L.A. Times notes that the Texas law is the first that says local officials will face criminal penalties if they refuse to comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests.

State representative Cesar Blanco, a Democrat, accused the governor of using social media to "get ahead" of planned protests against the bill.

Most of the people who are coming into the United States, especially in Texas, aren't coming from Mexico but from around the world.

The measure will go into effect from September 1.

Texas has taken the unusual step of preemptively suing to stop lawsuits challenging its new "sanctuary cities" ban.

Congress Passes Stopgap Measure To Fund Government, Averting Shutdown
He abruptly canceled a vote on a health care overhaul at that time because of opposition from moderates and conservatives alike. Even Senate Republicans have been largely sidelined, though their support will be crucial to putting a measure on Trump's desk.

In this Sunday, May 7, 2017 frame from video posted by the Office of the Governor, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signs a so-called "sanctuary cities" ban in Austin Texas. "But legal immigration is different from harboring people who have committed risky crimes".

On April 28, the chiefs of police ranging from Dallas, Houston to San Antonio signed an open letter urging the governor to not sign SB 4 into law.

"Ours is the part of the Arizona bill that wasn't struck down", Paxton said.

Many US cities, counties and some states have a myriad of informal policies and laws that qualify as "sanctuary" positions. "If you are here, regardless of what your status and you have not committed a crime that makes you subject to an ICE detainer, you have no problems whatsoever", said Governor Abbott.

Advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union are urging county sheriffs and city police chiefs in Texas not to comply with the law.

He said it differs from a set of Arizona laws that were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012. The law also requires local officials to comply with federal requests to hold criminal suspects for possible deportation.

According to reports, Texas, which has an estimated 1.5 million illegal immigrants and the longest border with Mexico of any us state, has always been at the forefront of the immigration debate.

Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez said it was "unfortunate that fear and misinformation" enabled the law the pass.

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