AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) – Protesters started gathering early Monday morning outside of the Texas Governor’s Mansion in Austin following the signing of the ‘sanctuary cities’ bill.
In a Facebook livestream on Sunday, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill that bans ‘sanctuary cities’ in Texas. The Texas Legislature passed the bill on Wednesday. Senate Bill 4 requires local government entities and law enforcement officials to comply with federal immigration laws and detainer requests.
Before signing the bill, Abbott referenced the 2015 murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco by an undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times and was out on probation from Texas.
The law criminally and financially sanctions cities, counties and college campuses that adopt any policies which ignore federal detainers and prevent police from enforcing immigration laws.
The Dallas Police Association said that it is reviewing the immediate impact and all of the possibilities and problems that this law could cause with officers. Several police chiefs have already voiced their concerns, including those in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Houston, San Antonio and Austin.
One concern is jail space. The bill allows jails to hold immigrants who are arrested for local crimes beyond their release dates, in case immigration and customs officials want them to be questioned.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said that the law could deter immigrants from reporting crimes and cooperating with police officers. Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, however, supports the law and is not worried about the issues that Jenkins has mentioned.
While the bill does not take effect until September 1, immigration advocacy groups plan to fight it immediately.