Texas Governor Signs Law Against 'Sanctuary Cities'

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. "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.

Abbott signed the bill on Facebook Live, said spokesman John Wittman, because that's "where most people are getting their news nowadays".

"Citizens expect law enforcement officers to enforce the law and citizens deserve law breakers to face legal consequences", Abbott said in the video. But a federal judge blocked the order while legal challenges against it continue.

Abbott's office gave little advance warning of the highly anticipated signing, which ensured that protesters could not disrupt it.

The law allows police to ask about a person's immigration status if they are arrested or detained, including during actions such as traffic stops.

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.

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

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Democrats have said the measure could lead to unconstitutional racial profiling and civil rights groups have promised to fight the Texas measure in court.

The new measure is scheduled to go into effect September 1, according to the governor's office.

Before Abbott signed the bill Sunday, he criticized the policies of Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez, who said she would no longer cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests to hold immigrants while federal authorities investigate their status. 4, will prohibit cities from declaring themselves "sanctuary cities" and refusing to cooperate with federal officials on immigration enforcement.

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott on Sunday night signed into law the so-called sanctuary cities bill.

"Elected officials and law enforcement agencies, they don't get to pick and choose which laws they will obey".

Abbott, who designated the ban as an emergency item in January, signed the bill just four days after it was given final approval by both chambers of the Legislature.

They said immigration was a federal obligation and the law would stretch already meagre resources by turning local police into immigration agents.

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