AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on Texas’ tough new “sanctuary cities” law (all times local):
The Mexican government is expressing regret over a new Texas ban on so-called sanctuary cities, saying the law could step on the rights of its citizens who choose to live just across the border.
The Secretary of Foreign Relations on Monday said in a statement that the Texas law signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott “criminalizes even more the phenomenon of immigration.” It says the law foments racial discrimination and will reduce collaboration between police and immigrant communities.
Mexico is Texas’ largest trading partner and shares close ties with the state.
Abbott on Sunday night signed the bill that allows police to ask a person about their immigration status during routine traffic stops. He says the law does away with those who “seek to promote lawlessness in Texas.”
San Antonio’s police chief says the department will abandon a policy prohibiting officers in the nation’s seventh-largest city from asking about a person’s immigration status due to Texas’ new law banning so-called sanctuary cities.
Chief William McManus on Monday ripped Republican lawmakers over the law signed Sunday night, which opponents say is the nation’s most anti-immigrant law since an Arizona crackdown in 2010.
Texas’ law takes effect in September and will allow police officers to ask about a person’s immigration status during routine stops. McManus says that could include people even stopped for jaywalking.
He says a written department policy prohibiting questions about immigration status was added several years ago following community meetings.
Abbott says the law will help fulfill a duty to keep “dangerous criminals off our streets.”
Critics say it will lead to Hispanics being racially profiled.