GOP states are moving to help President Trump enforce at least some of his immigration policy. Texas, Tennessee, Idaho, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and Michigan have all moved to block funding in their own cities which have designated themselves as so-called “sanctuary cities.”
This comes in conjunction with the president’s executive order to block federal funding from cities that refuse to obey federal law regarding immigration. This includes cities that refuse to comply with requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Wednesday, the Texas state Senate passed a measure that would block funding as well as require police agencies to hold in custody anyone U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement requests, or risk losing state funding.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has already moved to block nearly $2 million in state grants to Travis County, which is home to the Austin metropolitan area, where the local sheriff has implemented a sanctuary policy. In a statement on Thursday, Abbot said “I will not tolerate sanctuary city policies that put the citizens of Texas at risk. Elected officials do not get to pick and choose which laws they will obey.”
Abbot’s Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick said in an interview Saturday with FOX “Our sanctuary city bill, which we did pass this week, will deny funding to our cities that refuse to follow the constitution and follow the law.” He also said the bill would introduce the possible of civil and or criminal penalties for law enforcement officers who refuse to enforce the law. “After all, just because you may be in law enforcement, if you break the law and refuse to protect our country, and put your city at risk you should be subject to those repercussions.”
Tennessee state Senator Mark Green (R), who authored his state’s version of the sanctuary city ban said in an interview “What [president Trump] doing is a great idea. We need to protect Americans, we need to protect Tennesseans. We’re going to take it a step further and enhance what the president is doing and take state dollars from cities that decide, because they want to, to ignore ICE detainers.”
Other laws from other states are likely to be introduced in the coming weeks. Many are inspired by Trump’s executive order on immigration, as well as the desire to rid themselves of sanctuary cities within their states. The moves are also a means to assist the president in enforcing the law despite a radical judiciary stacked against them.