Texas has passed a bill that requires local law enforcement officers to comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests, according to a report by VICE News.
SB4, which was passed after 16 hours of debate and pushback, enforces requests for suspected undocumented immigrants to be held in local facilities for up to 48 hours. This makes Texas the first state to enforce detainer requests with criminal penalties.
“Elected officials don’t get to pick and choose which laws they obey,” Governor Greg Abbott said after the bill was passed. “To protect Texans from deadly danger, we must insist that laws be followed.” Abbott made eliminating sanctuary cities (jurisdictions that limit cooperation with ICE) an top priority in his State of the State address a few months ago.
Opponents of SB4 worry that the legislation puts all Texans at risk for unlawful detention. “It’s a very slippery slope to violate people’s rights,” Supervising Attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center Angie Junck told VICE News. “They get deported and then there’s no recourse.” Prior to the vote, University of Texas Austin students crowded the Capitol's rotunda floor in protest.
SB4's pass comes a week after 95 people were arrested during a five-day ICE raid in southeast Texas.
Thumbnail via Twitter.