In an unusual step, Governor Greg Abbott went on Facebook Sunday evening to sign a bill banning sanctuary cities in Texas.
The law approved by the Texas Legislature allows police to inquire about a person’s immigration status during routine interactions such as traffic stops. It also threatens to jail sheriffs who refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
Protesters gathered outside the governor’s mansion, chanting ,” We are the mighty, mighty immigrants fighting for justice.”
“This law is very, very very vague. It’s made for nothing but sensationalism,” said San Antonio attorney Luis Vera, who represents the League of United Latin American Citizens.
“The governor of Texas like many Republican, like to rile up their base,” Vera said.
Republican Congressman Lamar Smith was pleased that the governor signed the bill into law.
“I’m really grateful that our neighborhoods are gonna be safer. Our communities are going to be safer. We’re not going to have government officials releasing criminals into our community,” said Smith.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus has spoken out against the law, saying it will lead to profiling.
The law goes into effect September 1.