AUSTIN (KXAN) — After a long debate at the Texas State Capitol over the sanctuary cities bill over the past several months, Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 4 into law during a rare Facebook Live appearance.
Passing the Texas House in a 94-54 vote, SB 4 will ban sanctuary cities in Texas. The law requires local government and law enforcement to follow all federal immigration laws and detainer requests, putting in place criminal penalties if anyone breaks the new law.
In a statement released by the governor’s office Sunday evening, Gov. Abbott says public safety is his top priority, adding it is inexcusable for the state to release those from jail that have been charged with heinous crimes.
“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,” Abbott said.
Anyone who does not comply with the new law could now face any of the following:
- 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.
At 6:35 p.m. Sunday, Gov. Abbott went live on his Facebook page signing the state bill.
The sanctuary cities bill will go into effect Sept. 1.