Texas governor signs bill to ban 'sanctuary cities'

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The law allows police to inquire about the immigration status of anyone they detain, a situation that can range from arrest for a crime to being stopped for a traffic violation.

Though the bill, Senate Bill 4, doesn't take effect until September 1, the American Civil Liberties Union said in its announcement that it "is concerned that some law enforcement officers may begin to treat residents and travelers unfairly now".

He says a written department policy prohibiting questions about immigration status was added several years ago following community meetings.

The law also requires police chiefs and sheriffs - under the threat of jail and removal from office - to comply with federal requests to hold criminal suspects in jail for possible deportation.

"We want to tell Governor Abbott that this law, far from dividing us, will unite us more".

The ACLU said more than a dozen of its state affiliates have issued their own travel advisories against Texas including California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

"Citizens expect law enforcement officers to enforce the law", Abbott said. ICE runs a training program in SC for participating law enforcement officers. Abbott said Monday on "Fox and Friends".

The lawsuit targets immigrant rights groups and local officials who are likely to challenge the law. One of the first legal challenges came from the League of United Latin American Citizens on behalf of a small border town near the Mexico border called El Cenizo.

After Abbott signed the bill he said, "Texas has now banned sanctuary cities in the Lone Star State". The new law allows officers to ask people about their immigration status during routine stops.

In a "60 Minutes" segment on Sunday, the story is told of one man, Roberto Beristain, who has lived in the USA illegally for years was deported and separated from his family, who are all citizens, despite having no criminal record.

"I think what this bill brings with it is the perception that Texas's welcome mat comes with qualifiers", said Cathy Stoebner DeWitt, vice president of governmental affairs for the Texas Association of Business.

The term "sanctuary city" has no legal definition, and Texas doesn't now have any cities that have formally declared themselves sanctuaries for immigrants.

"The racist bill is an attack on human decency that preys on some of our most vulnerable by driving a wedge between law enforcement, universities, immigrant communities, and people of color", Vela said in a press release.