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Republican-led Texas legislature passes "sanctuary city" ban

In recent posts, we've been looking quite a bit at the current national debate over so-called sanctuary cities. As we've noted, the legal issues surrounding sanctuary cities are not entirely settled, and the public policy debates are certainly contentious.

Both President Trump and Governor Greg Abbot have voiced opposition for sanctuary cities and support of cutting funding for local jurisdictions which fail to cooperate with enforcement of federal immigration law. President Trump's executive order cutting funding to sanctuary cities is currently in a precarious situation. Now, the Texas Legislature has passed a ban on sanctuary cities. 

The bill, which Governor Greg Abbot has promised to sign, would require local law enforcement officers to cooperate with federal immigration authorities and would withhold funding from jurisdictions that don't cooperate.

The bill would specifically permit law enforcement officers to inquire about the immigration status of those who have been detained or arrested, and requires officers to comply with immigration detainer requests. Naturally, there is significant opposition to the measure from immigration rights activists. It isn't clear whether the bill is intended to target any specific jurisdictions, but there are currently no cities in Texas that have been classified as sanctuary cities, at least in any official sense.

As we've previously noted on this blog, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials only have a limited time to act on a detainer requests, and it is important for immigrants to understand the legal process and their rights when they are detained or arrested. In our next post, we'll look a bit at some of the legal issues surrounding detainer requests, and why it is important for immigrants to work with experienced legal counsel to protect their rights. 

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