Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared ending sanctuary cities to be an emergency item for the 85th session of the Texas Legislature.
During his State of the State address on Tuesday, Abbott said, “This is the session we will ban sanctuary cities,” to the joint session of the Texas Legislature. Specifically, the governor referred to State Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) who filed SB4, calling for sanctions against sanctuary jurisdictions within the Lone Star State.
“I am excited that Governor Abbott stood up for the rule of law by declaring the banning of Sanctuary Cities an emergency item during his State of the State Address,” Sen. Perry responded. “Texans everywhere expect their elected officials to uphold the rule of law. We cannot allow local officials to implement dangerous policies that make it easier for individuals who commit serious crimes to be placed back into our communities.”
Governor Abbott has already taken action to end sanctuary jurisdictions in Texas by threatening to withhold state law enforcement grants from cities and counties that refuse to honor immigration detainers from federal agents. Most recently, when the new sheriff of Travis County stated she was changing the county’s policy on cooperating with immigration officials in January, Abbott responded via Twitter, “I am about to up the ante. No more sanctuary cities in Texas.”
“Some law enforcement officials in Texas are openly refusing to enforce existing law,” Abbott stated during his State of the State Address. “That is unacceptable.”
“Elected officials don’t get to pick and choose which laws they obey,” the governor concluded. “To protect Texans from deadly danger, we must insist that laws be followed. Sen. Perry, this is the session we will ban sanctuary cities. I’m declaring this an emergency item.”
Texas law prohibits bills from being brought to the floor of the State’s House and Senate Chambers during the first sixty days of the legislative session. By declaring the sanctuary city issue as an emergency item for the legislature, bills dealing with the subject can be considered immediately.
The five key provisions of Perry’s SB 4 were discussed by the senator’s staff with Breitbart Texas. Those provisions are:
- Municipalities are forced to comply with immigration detainers;
- Municipalities cannot prohibit or discourage officers from inquiring about immigration status during a lawful stop;
- State grants will be withheld if the Texas Attorney General finds an entity is in violation of law;
- The immigration status must be recorded in a person’s case file; and
- The bill protects witnesses and victims of crimes if they are here illegally.