Banning sanctuary cities was one of Governor Abbott's emergency legislative priorities.
On Sunday night Texas Governor Greg Abbott took to Facebook Live to sign the nation's most extreme crackdown on "sanctuary cities" into law.
Senate Bill 4, also known as the sanctuary cities bill, will ban sanctuary cities in Texas and will require government and law enforcement officials to follow federal immigration laws.
Senate Bill 4 makes it illegal for universities, counties and cities to prevent their law enforcement officers from questioning individuals who are legally detained about their immigration status.
Greg Abbott, speaking to reporters following a meeting with President Obama at the White House on December 5, 2014, signed a bill banning sanctuary cities in the state, citing public safety.
Immigration advocates and some members of the media had expected the signing to come Monday or later, and opponents of the bill had been organizing rallies and protests around the expected public signing ceremony, said Texas state Rep. Victoria Neave, a Democrat and fierce opponent of the bill who fasted for four days last month in protest.
"Elected officials and law enforcement agencies, they don't get to pick and choose which laws they will obey".
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Police officials found to be in violation of the law could face removal from office, fines and up to a year in prison if convicted.
"This is not the Texas I know", Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas said in a news release. It is due to go into effect September 1.
Abbott was referencing Sheriff Sally Hernandez, who became the face of the battle over sanctuary cities after instituting a policy that limits when the Travis County jail cooperates with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests that help facilitate deportation proceedings for inmates suspected of being unauthorized immigrants. Many students and faculty have pushed for such "sanctuary campus" policies since the election of President Donald J. Trump in November.
"Given the size of the state, this may well be the most costly gubernatorial signature in all of United States history", Saenz said. In 2015, Steinle was allegedly killed by undocumented immigrant Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez in San Francisco-another sanctuary city.
The Texas measure has been compared to Arizona's 2010 immigration law, SB1070. But it does allow Texas police to inquire whether a person is in the country legally, even if they're not under arrest.
They said immigration was a federal obligation and the law would stretch already meagre resources by turning local police into immigration agents.