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On Sunday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a bill banning sanctuary cities in Texas, Senate Bill No. 4 (SB 4). According to Abbot, sanctuary city policies have deadly consequences and will not be tolerated in Texas.

He referred to Kate Steinle, who was allegedly shot dead by an undocumented alien while she was walking on a busy pier in San Francisco with her father. The alien was a repeat felon who had been deported five times. A San Francisco police department had released him from custody without notice to ICE despite the fact that ICE had given the department an immigration detainer requesting such notice. San Francisco is a sanctuary city.

Abbott supports legal immigration, but not harboring aliens who have committed dangerous crimes.

Texas officials who foster sanctuary policies which might be considered harboring would be wise to reconsider that practice even if SB 4 is never implemented. Harboring is a federal criminal offense, which, when it results in a death, is punishable “by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.”

What does the Texas law provide?

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Published originally on The Hill.

About the author.
Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years. He also has been a policy advisor for the DHS Office of Information Sharing and Collaboration under a contract with TKC Communications, and he has been in private practice as an immigration lawyer at Steptoe & Johnson.