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Abbott signs ‘sanctuary cities’ bill

Monday, May 8, 2017 by Elizabeth Pagano

Gov. Greg Abbott signed the “sanctuary cities” bill into law Sunday. “Texas has now banned sanctuary cities in the Lone Star State,” said Abbott in a Facebook video. The new law allows local officials to be charged with Class A misdemeanors and potentially removed from office for not honoring U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests. The bill also includes a “show me your papers” provision that allows police to question a person’s immigration status when they have been detained or arrested. As Mayor Steve Adler pointed out to the Austin Monitor, the law will almost certainly be challenged in court, though Abbott defended its legality in his Facebook video. Abbott’s action came under immediate fire from civil rights groups and local officials. City Council Member Greg Casar, who was arrested for protesting the bill last week, also responded to Abbott’s action on Facebook. He wrote, “Abbott doesn’t realize that the fight against SB 4 has just begun, and we will not rest until we find justice for all families. Many people have gathered at the Governor’s mansion to let him know he cannot hide his bigotry and that we will not be silenced.” Mayor Steve Adler released a statement on the signing that read, “Our law enforcement community could not have been clearer with the legislature: By driving people into hiding, this bill will make it harder to catch criminals, but this bill has never really been about keeping our cities safe.”

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