AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed a law targeting so-called “sanctuary cities” that allows police to ask about a person’s immigration status and threatens sheriffs with jail if they don’t cooperate with federal authorities.
Republican Abbott on Sunday took the unusual step of signing the bill on Facebook with little advance notice. He said Texas residents expect lawmakers to “keep us safe.”
The bill cleared a final hurdle this week in the Republican-controlled Legislature over objections from Democrats and immigrant rights supporters who’ve packed the Texas Capitol. They call it a “show-me-your-papers” measure that will be used to discriminate against Latinos.
Every major police chief in Texas opposed the bill. Republicans say it is needed to ensure local jails honor requests from federal officials to keep dangerous offenders behind bars.