Texas Governor Signs Immigration Bill Into Law

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed a bill into law on Sunday that allows local police officers to ask about someone’s immigration status during routine stops, NPR reports. The legislation also applies to police officers on colleges campuses.

Campus police officers in Texas can question someone’s immigration status even if a detention doesn’t result in an arrest. Colleges that try to ban officers from checking someone’s immigration status could be fined up to $25,500 a day.

The bill’s supporters said the legislation aims to keep communities safe and reduce illegal immigration. Critics say the bill is similar to Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070, the controversial law that was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012, and expect the Texas law to be challenged.

The new law will take effect on September 1. Under the law, police chiefs and sheriffs could face jail time if they do not cooperate with federal immigration agents.

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