Texas one of 33 states looking to defund sanctuary cities
Immigration hardliners are threatening to hold potentially billions of dollars in state grants hostage as they seek to compel so-called sanctuary cities to cooperate with federal law enforcement officials.In a convention of the states, those opposed to sanctuary cities should be able to carry the day. In the meantime, Between the Trump administration and that of the 33 states, it is going to be hard to act as a sanctuary for illegal aliens.
Legislators in 33 states have introduced measures to limit or prevent cities from acting as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. Only one state this year, Mississippi, has enacted a ban on sanctuary jurisdictions, but several others, including Texas, Indiana, Iowa, Florida and Georgia, are advancing their own bills.
In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has withheld millions of dollars in grants to Austin’s Travis County. State Sen. Charles Perry (R), who has sponsored one of the 23 bills dealing with sanctuary city legislation, said state grants make up a substantial portion of many city and county budgets, which means local officials pay attention when a state moves to block those funds.
“The only way you can get a jurisdiction’s attention is if you withhold the money,” Perry said. “We have several jurisdictions in Texas that, either implicit or explicit, have become sanctuary cities.”