ATHENS, Ga – Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who was first to enter Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial race, said he supports a ban on sanctuary cities.
On Sunday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed legislation that bans sanctuary cities.
"Sanctuary cities are dangerous, unlawful, and defy our Georgia values,” Kemp said on Monday. “As governor, our state will respect the rule of law and put the well-being of Georgians, not illegal immigrants, first.
The new law allows police officers to ask about a person’s immigration status and threatens sheriffs with jail if they don’t cooperate with federal authorities, including honoring requests to hold someone in jail while his or her immigration status is checked out for possible deportation.
Every major-city police chief in Texas opposed the bill, KVUE-TV reported. Republicans say it is needed to ensure that local jails honor requests from federal officials to keep dangerous offenders behind bars.
Abbott, a Republican in his first term, on Sunday evening took the unusual step of signing the bill on Facebook.
The bill cleared a final hurdle last week in the state's Republican-controlled legislature over objections from Democrats and immigrant rights supporters, who packed the Texas Capitol. They have called it a "show-me-your-papers" measure that will be used to discriminate against Latinos.
“Like Gov. Abbott, I will fight radical, left-wing organizations and activists who are more concerned with advancing their agenda than keeping citizens and communities safe," Kemp said.
The term “sanctuary cities” has no legal definition, but Republicans want local police to help federal immigration agents crack down on criminal suspects who are in the U.S. illegally.
The Texas bill allows police to inquire about the immigration status of anyone they detain, whether they've been arrested for a crime or stopped for a traffic violation.