AUSTIN, Texas >> The Texas Senate has preliminarily approved an anti-“sanctuary cities” bill punishing local governments that don’t cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
It’s the strongest indication yet that the state’s Republicans look to crack down on an issue championed by President Donald Trump.
Tuesday night’s vote after hours of sometimes-emotional debate clears the way for the proposal to sail through the GOP-controlled Texas Legislature in record time. It stalled in previous sessions.
The bill still needs final Senate approval Wednesday, then must clear the state House. But Gov. Greg Abbott has made it an “emergency item” speeding up that process.
The proposal denies state grant money to jurisdictions where police refuse federal requests to surrender immigrants already in custody for possible deportation.
Abbott also has called for removing from office locally elected officials resisting such requests.