Initiatives to remove sanctuary cities have started again with another Texas legislative session and new leadership that is targeting these municipalities. This has led to the question of whether Austin is a sanctuary city or not.
A law professor at the University of Texas Immigration Clinic Elissa Steglich said the concept is vague, noting, “It’s certainly not codified anywhere or appearing in law.”
While state Senator Charles Lee Perry (Republican of Lubbock) filed a measure last Tuesday, November 15 that mandates local governments to follow requests from federal agencies to put under lock and key certain undocumented immigrants of interest, United States President-elect Donald John Trump has vowed to cancel federal funding to sanctuary cities. The city of Austin received $42 million in federal grants in 2016 alone.
Trump’s vow foreshadows an administration that is unfriendly toward sanctuary cities; just this year, the federal government updated rules that disqualify sanctuary cities from obtaining Department of Justice federal grants.
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