Abbott signs bill banning sanctuary cities

Legislation faces law enforcement, public backlash

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

With no fanfare or advanced notice, Gov. Greg Abbott took to Facebook Live Sunday evening and signed into law a bill banning sanctuary cities.

The video announcement lasted approximately five minutes during which Abbott expressed his thanks to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Joe Strauss, and Senators Charles Perry and Charlie Geren for their work on the bill.

In January, Abbott made the legislation one of his top priorities for the 85th legislative session, but opponents soon gathered to voice their opposition to the bill, including the several police chiefs in the state’s largest metro regions, as well as civil rights groups.

“Now let’s be clear about something: we all support legal immigration. It helped to build America and Texas,” Abbott says in the video. “Texas strongly supports the legal immigration that has been a part of our state from the very beginning, but, legal immigration is different from harboring people who have committed dangerous crimes,” he said.

He continued, saying elected officials and law enforcement agencies “don’t get to pick and choose which laws they will obey.”

Port Isabel Chief of Police Robert Lopez agrees with that much of the governor’s statements. “We’re going to have to abide by the law,” which is set to go into effect on Sept. 1 if it remains unopposed, the chief said Tuesday. “We’ve taken an oath to uphold the law,” Lopez said.

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