Texas outlaws sanctuary cities

AP/Washington Examiner:
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday signed a law targeting so-called "sanctuary cities" that allows police to ask about a person's immigration status and threatens sheriffs with jail if they don't cooperate with federal authorities.

Abbott, a Republican in his first term, took the unusual step of signing the bill on Facebook with no advanced public notice. He said Texas residents expect lawmakers to "keep us safe" and said similar laws have already been tested in federal court, where opponents have already been hinting the bill will be immediately challenged.
Every major police chief in Texas opposed the bill. Republicans say it is needed to ensure local jails honor requests from federal officials to keep dangerous offenders behind bars.

The term "sanctuary cities" has no legal definition, but Republicans want local police to help federal immigration agents crack down on criminal suspects in the U.S. illegally.
Polls indicate that 80 percent of voters oppose the sanctuary cities policies of some communities. Opponents of the law will attempt to that the will of the voters by trying to get the courts to overturn the law.  There is no significant evidence that refusing to cooperate with ICE makes a community safer and there is substantial evidence that those who have been protected by sanctuary cities have been involved in major crimes such as sexual assaults and murder.

While the law could lead to sheriff's and others who refuse to cooperate being prosecuted for criminal offenses under the act, it is not as harsh as some wanted.  There were suggestions that law enforcement that released criminal illegal aliens should be prosecuted as accessories to any new offenses by the criminal alien.


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