Texas governor Greg Abbott signed into law yesterday a bill that bans sanctuary cities, effective September 1, 2017. This is major win for Abbott and his fellow Republicans, who have been trying for years to get similar legislation passed.
Abbott, who designated the ban as an emergency item in January, signed the bill just four days after both chambers of the Legislature gave it final approval. Its passage is a major victory for Abbott and Republicans who advocate for stricter enforcement of immigration law. The Legislature has tried to pass a ban every session since 2011.
Importantly, the bill also allows law enforcement to ask questions about the immigration status of anyone they detain, including during traffic stops.
The new legislation goes even further, with the state creating “a criminal charge for police chiefs, county sheriffs and constables who violate the [sanctuary city] ban and will charge local jurisdictions up to $25,000 for each day they are in violation.”
Critics, like the ACLU, predictably charge that the legislation is “wrongheaded” and “racist.” There will almost definitely be legal challenges in the near future, but Abbott is primed to take them on:
“It simply makes sense,” he said. “Citizens expect law enforcement officers to enforce the law, and citizens deserve lawbreakers to face legal consequences.”
Don’t mess with Texas, y’all.
On a side note, this was the first time a Texas governor signed legislation on a livestream. WATCH: