AUSTIN - Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation Sunday banning sanctuary cities in the state of Texas. Senate Bill 4, or SB 4, requires local government entities and law enforcement officials to comply with federal immigration laws and detainer requests and creates criminal penalties for entities that do not enforce the law.
Banning sanctuary cities was one of Abbott’s "emergency legislative priorities," according to a statement from the governor's office.
Abbott signed the bill into law over Facebook Live Sunday evening.
“As Governor, my top priority is public safety, and this bill furthers that objective by keeping dangerous criminals off our streets,” said Abbott. “It’s inexcusable to release individuals from jail that have been charged with heinous crimes like sexual assault against minors, domestic violence and robbery. There are deadly consequences to not enforcing the law, and Texas has now become a state where those practices are not tolerated. With this bill we are doing away with those that seek to promote lawlessness in Texas.”
As part of the legislation, the governor's office said entities and officials that do not comply with the law could face the following penalties:
- A civil penalty for entities in violation of the law of up to $25,500 for each day of the violation
- A class A misdemeanor for a sheriff, chief of police, or constable who fails to comply with federal immigration detainer requests
- Removal from office for any elected or appointed official who does not comply with the law