AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Texas Senate has preliminarily approved an anti-“sanctuary cities” bill punishing local governments that don’t cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
It’s the strongest indication yet that the state’s Republicans look to crack down on an issue championed by President Donald Trump.
Tuesday night’s vote after hours of sometimes-emotional debate clears the way for the proposal to sail through the GOP-controlled Texas Legislature in record time. It stalled in previous sessions.
The bill still needs final Senate approval Wednesday, then must clear the state House. But Gov. Greg Abbott has made it an “emergency item” speeding up that process.
The proposal denies state grant money to jurisdictions where police refuse federal requests to surrender immigrants already in custody for possible deportation.
Abbott also has called for removing from office locally elected officials resisting such requests.
Governor Abbott released the following statement:
“As Governor, I will not tolerate sanctuary city policies that put the citizens of Texas at risk. Elected officials do not get to pick and choose which laws they will obey. Today’s action in the Senate helps ensure that Sheriffs and officials across Texas comply with federal immigration laws and honor Immigration and Custom Enforcement detainer requests that keep dangerous criminals off of our streets. I want to thank Senator Perry for his leadership on this issue and look forward to final passage in the Senate tomorrow.”
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick released this statement:
“No city in Texas should be allowed to ignore the law. I congratulate Sen. Perry on today’s vote in the Senate to pass SB 4 and thank him for his commitment to keeping our communities safe. Ending sanctuary cities was one of my top priorities and I am pleased that we are acting swiftly on the agenda of the people of Texas.”
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