Texas governor signs law banning ‘sanctuary cities’

Erich Schlegel/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed a new ban on "sanctuary cities."

Signing the bill during a Facebook Live video Sunday, Abbott said the law would allow police to ask about a person's immigration status and would require the local government and law enforcement to comply with federal immigration laws.

"Legal immigration is different from harboring people who have committed dangerous crimes," the Republican governor said in the video. "This law cracks down on policy like the Travis County sheriff who declared she would not detain known criminals accused of violent crimes."

Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez announced in January that she was limiting cooperation between her department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Abbott responded in February by withholding $1.5 million in grants to Travis County, according to the ABC affiliate KVUE-TV.

He said sanctuary city policies "won't be tolerated in Texas" and any official who does not cooperate with ICE and refuses to comply with the law, could face penalties of $25,000 per day, jail time, and removal from office.

"Citizens expect law enforcement officers to enforce the law and citizens deserve law breakers to face legal consequences," Abbott said in the video. "Texans expect us to keep them safe and that is exactly what we are going to do by me signing this law."


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