Greg Abbott Defends Sanctuary Cities Law at Texas Sheriffs' Meeting

GRAPEVINE--Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Monday touted the state's new law banning sanctuary cities as a way to curb human trafficking and other crimes.He called human trafficking a byproduct of broken borders and said the sanctuary cities law that he signed this year would help fix the problem."It would remove from the streets dangerous criminals, not detain hardworking families and innocent children," Abbott told the Sheriff's Association of Texas in Grapevine. "I appreciate the strong support the law has received from so many sheriffs across Texas."But Democrats were quick to blast the law and Abbott."SB4 will only divide communities from law enforcement, which is why every major police chief in the state opposed the bill," said Chris Turner, D-Arlington and the leader of the House Democratic Caucus. "Greg Abbott the Republican-controlled legislature just ignored them."Turner said the sanctuary cities law, dubbed the "papers please bill" by critics because it would allow law enforcement officers ask people for proof of citizenship, would create divisions between the police and immigrant communities.The sheriffs in the room are mixed on the law, and Abbott's remarks were sought to clarify that his intentions were not to have Texas law enforcement officials serve as immigration police.In a news conference after his speech, Abbott said he was hopeful that the Legislature would approve all 20 items on the agenda for the special session now in progress. He said the Senate has conducted its business and the House could do the same, if it had the will.But the governor did not commit to calling another special session, if lawmakers don't approve all of his wish list.Abbott also defended the controversial bathroom bill that would reverse local laws related to transgender restroom use. Transgender residents would be restricting to using bathrooms that correspond to the gender of their birth.He asked Texans to "step back and calmly look at what the bill says before casting misguided judgment."At the sheriff's meeting, Abbott said the country needed to better support police officers."Respect for our law enforcement officers must be restored in our nation," he said. "The badge every sheriff and every officer wear over his or her heart is a reminder of a sacred trust, commitment and contract with each of us."  Continue reading...

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