The Texas Senate approved a bill proposing the defunding of sanctuary cities in Texas on Tuesday.
The bill, drafted by Texas lawmakers and deemed constitutional by the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, would essentially abolish sanctuary cities by requiring local police agencies to follow and enforce federal immigration laws.
The bill would also require Texas law enforcement agents working in all cities, counties, and college campuses to hold any arrestee in custody until US Customs and Immigration Enforcement approves their legal immigration status. If any member or body of law enforcement fails to comply with these federal laws, they would be at risk of losing their state grant money.
According to CNN, The majority Republican Texas Senate approved the bill with a 20-11 vote, GOP majority rule. The bill still must pass a “final vote” in the upper chamber of the state senate as well as securing a winning vote the state House.
Gov. Greg Abbott, known for being particularly tough on immigration, granted this bill “emergency status”, which will speed up the voting process significantly.
Governor Abbott took to twitter on Tuesday to express his approval of the senate’s decision to pass the bill.
The Texas Senate took the next step to ban sanctuary cities. With tough new penalties Dallas Co. & others will have to enforce the law. https://t.co/9ftBAv4vPL
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) February 8, 2017
Despite some push back from elected officials, particularly those in the state capitol of Austin, Gov. Abbott has no plans to back down when it comes to immigration.
“I’m putting the hammer down,” Gov. Abbott said during an appearance on Mark Levin’s radio show last Friday. “This is offensive what’s going on in Austin, Texas. It’s actually the county, which is Travis County, which is the county seat of Austin, Texas. Travis County has declared what I call ‘sanctuary city policies.’ They are no longer going to hold for ICE detainers, certain criminals – who are, in fact, criminals – they’ve been arrested before for very serious crimes.”
“That is breaching her oath of office, is breaching the rule of law. Texas is not going to stand for it,” continued Gov. Abbott. “We are going to make it so that it is impossible for any city or county to adopt any sanctuary city policy in the state of Texas.”