Texas governor signs ban on so-called 'sanctuary cities'

A screenshot of Gov. Greg Abbott signing Senate Bill 4 into law on Facebook Live. JAY JANNER  AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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.

Signing the bill during a Facebook Live video Sunday, Abbott said the law would allow police to ask about a person's immigration status and would require the local government and law enforcement to comply with federal immigration laws. "It's inexcusable to release individuals from jail that have been charged with heinous crimes like sexual assault against minors, domestic violence and robbery", his office said in a press release.

The order declared that entities labeled "sanctuary jurisdictions" by the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security will be "not eligible" for federal grants.

Passage of the law is a major win for the Republican. Some Democrats said the timing of the signing particularly stung after three recent federal court rulings that found intentional discrimination in Republican-passed voting laws.

It also directs local law enforcement officials to enforce immigration laws alongside their regular duties.Gov. Abbott just gave T.

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".

Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, told the Dallas Morning News that the law was a "colossal blunder" and that the lawmakers who championed it were small-hearted.

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), agents detain an immigrant on October 14, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

The new Texas law was blasted by opponents as the nation's toughest on immigrants since Arizona's crackdown in 2010, disparagingly known as the "papers, please" provision.

"Our immigrant communities need to know that we stand with you", said Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas.

The sanctuary city ban was a top priority that Abbott has deemed a legislative emergency.

Abbott also called out Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez. Hernandez softened her policy after Abbott cut funding to the county, saying decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis.

Convention of states supporters say that's the point since Congress won't stop out of control spending until the states force it to.