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Gov. Abbot voices approval for DOJ policy of cutting funding to sanctuary cities

Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice would be cutting funding to cities that refuse to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. The expectation, according to Sessions, is that cities must comply with federal immigration law in order to receive funding from the agency.

Like the Trump Administration, Governor Gregg Abbot has also voiced support for cutting funding to cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration law enforcement. Following Sessions' announcement, Abbot released a statement in support of the Department of Justice policy, and pledged his commitment to ending sanctuary city policies.  

In support of Abbot's policy, some state lawmakers are looking to pass a bill that would allow local officials who refuse to cooperate with federal immigration law enforcement to be charged with a crime. The bill would also cut state funding for local bodies they manage and impose penalties for cities and counties that refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.

As we noted in a previous post, one of the difficulties surrounding the issue of sanctuary cities is that city can have different policies around the issue of cooperating with federal immigration law enforcement. Exactly what policies constitute refusal to cooperate with federal authorities? And who gets to decide that? A lot can ride on these questions.

For immigrants who are not yet full U.S. citizens, it is important to understand not only what localities may be able to them sanctuary and under what conditions they will do so, but also how to take full advantage of the protections available through immigration law. Working with an experienced immigration law attorney helps ensure one is best situated to take advantage of these protections. 

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