Texas Governor Greg Abbott has dropped the hammer on illegal immigration in the Lone Star State by signing a historic bill that will officially catapult Texas into the forefront of immigration reform by imposing strict penalties for jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal law enforcement agents.
Under Senate Bill 4, any so-called sanctuary cities in Texas will be subject to harsh financial penalties if they refuse to work alongside immigration officials, while sheriffs or police chiefs who do not abide by immigration laws and release criminal illegals who are subject to immigration detainers can be punished with jail time, massive fines, or both.
The new law has faced legal challenges from left-wing critics in the state, who have characterized a provision allowing police officers to inquire about the immigration status of a detainee as unconstitutional. Abbott claims these challenges have no merit.
âThe so-called controversial part of this law is what some label as the âshow your papersâ component,â he told Breitbart News. âAnd what everyone seems to get wrong is they think that this provision was stricken down in the Arizona law. To the contrary, the provision in the Arizona law is stricter than the Texas law.â
According to Abbott, the Arizona law found itself in hot water because it compelled police officers to request proof of immigration status from detainees, while the Texas law merely makes it an option. Furthermore, the Arizona was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, paving the way for the looser Texas law to remain unchallenged.
As for the new lawâs effect on life in Texas, Abbott insists that nothing will change.
âFor American citizens, this bill has no impact on them whatsoever, and they have absolutely nothing to be concerned about. Thereâs only one group of people that is targeted by this legislation and that is people who are in this country illegally, who have committed violent crimes, and are subject to an ICE detainer request,â he clarified.