Amid protests over President Trump’s executive order aiming to block federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities, Republican legislators across the country are moving to deny their own funding to cities that refuse to comply with federal immigration authorities.
The Texas state Senate on Wednesday passed a measure to block state funding to cities in which law enforcement officials disregard federal immigration laws. The measure would require police agencies to hold anyone in custody until U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement is able to verify their immigration status, or risk losing state funding.
Similar legislation has been introduced in Ohio, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Idaho and Pennsylvania. Other laws are likely to be introduced in the coming weeks. Many are inspired by Trump’s executive orders barring refugees and blocking all immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.
“What he’s doing is a great idea. We need to protect Americans, we need to protect Tennesseans,” state Sen. Mark Green (R), author of his state’s version of the sanctuary city ban, said in an interview. “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.”