AUSTIN, Texas — It’s been one of the most controversial topics this legislative session, sparking emotional testimony and protests for months.
Sunday night, Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill (Senate Bill 4) into law that will soon ban so-called “sanctuary cities” in Texas.
Protesters are expected to rally at the Governor’s Mansion Monday morning, speaking out against the new law.
Protests began Sunday evening, shortly after Abbott signed the bill into law.
Instead of holding a traditional bill-signing ceremony, Abbott chose to sign the bill from his office while streaming a video on Facebook Live with little advance warning from his office.
— Gregorio Casar (@GregCasar) May 8, 2017
The bill looks to crack down on illegal immigration by allowing officers to ask about a person’s immigration status if a person is detained — meaning during things like routine traffic stops or if a person is stopped on the street.
It also could send local law enforcement officers to jail for refusing to work with federal immigration authorities.
“This law cracks down on policies like that Travis County Sheriff who declared she would not detain known criminals accused of violent crimes. Those policies are sanctuary city policies and they won’t be tolerated in Texas,” said Abbott.
Opponents already have plans to take the state to court, calling the bill unconstitutional and discriminatory. They say the law would allow for racial profiling.
And that it would make it so victims of crimes would feel afraid to call police when they need help.
The law goes into effect Sept. 1.
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