The new law will take effect on September 1st but, that isn’t stopping the ACLU from issuing a “Travel Advisor” now.
— ACLU National (@ACLU) May 10, 2017
A spokesperson for the ACLU said:
Texas is a state with deep Mexican roots and home to immigrants from all walks of life,” Lorella Praeli, the ACLU’s director of immigration policy and campaigns, said in a statement. “Many of us fit the racial profile that the police in Texas will use to enforce” what she termed President Donald Trump’s “draconian deportation force.”
The bill was signed on Sunday despite pleas from larger cities. Reuters reports:
The Texas measure comes as Republican U.S. President Donald Trump has made combating illegal immigration a priority. Texas, which has an estimated 1.5 million illegal immigrants and the longest border with Mexico of any U.S. state, has been at the forefront of the immigration debate.
“As governor, my top priority is public safety, and this bill furthers that objective by keeping dangerous criminals off our streets,” Abbott said in a statement. The law will take effect on Sept. 1.
The Republican-dominated legislature passed the bill on party-line votes and sent the measure to Abbott earlier this month. It would punish local authorities who do not abide by requests to cooperate with federal immigration agents.
Police officials found to be in violation of the law could face removal from office, fines and up to a year in prison if convicted.
The measure also allows police to ask people about their immigration status during a lawful detention, even for minor infractions like jaywalking.
Any anti-sanctuary city measure may face a tough road after a federal judge in April blocked Trump’s executive order seeking to withhold funds from local authorities that do not use their resources to advance federal immigration laws.
Democrats have warned the measure could lead to unconstitutional racial profiling and civil rights groups have promised to fight the Texas measure in court.
“This legislation is bad for Texas and will make our communities more dangerous for all,” the police chiefs of cities including Houston and Dallas wrote in an opinion piece in the Dallas Morning News in late April.