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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – The debate over ‘sanctuary cities’ in Texas came to Plano Saturday night where Governor Greg Abbott defended Senate Bill 4 which would target local elected officials who resist federal efforts to deport illegal immigrants.

The governor was the key note speaker at the Collin County Lincoln Day Dinner for Republican Party donors.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Plano Centre, and many of them assembled at the last minute when an afternoon email campaign called for demonstrations against Senate Bill 4.

The proposed legislation would punish cities, counties, and college campuses by cutting off state grant funds if they blocked officers from enforcing federal immigration laws.

Protesters argue the bill could have a chilling effect on undocumented people willing to offer information to officers who don’t ask about their immigration status.

“If I was a criminal, I would be very much in support of this bill because that would mean that the immigration community or the people that are already vulnerable would then feel less safe going forward with information,” said protester Julio Acosta.

But speaking to donors the governor insisted, Texas must enforce current law.

“Elected officials can’t pick and choose which laws they will obey. Officials who refuse to enforce immigration laws should be defunded, fined, and criminally prosecuted. It is time for Texas to take a stand. It is time for Texas to ban sanctuary cities,” said Governor Abbott.

In his speech the governor acknowledged the protesters outside.

The governor then recognized those in the audience who had served in the military for preserving the freedom to protest public officials.

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