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Texas Governor Calls For Ban On Sanctuary Cities In Texas

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AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Saying that elected officials don't get to pick and choose which laws they obey; Texas Governor Greg Abbott called for a crackdown on sanctuary cities in Texas and said action by the legislature in this regard was an "emergency item."

"As elected officials, it is our responsibility to protect all Texans," Abbott said during his State of the State speech today in Austin. "It's our burden to deal with the consequences of the federal government not doing its job to secure our border," Abbott continued.

"Now let's be clear about this: We all support legal immigration into the United States; legal immigration is what's built the United States of America," Abbott said. "What must be stopped is illegal immigration — and worse, the criminals who conspire with cartels to enter the U.S. illegally," Abbott continued.

"Texas can't change federal immigration laws. What Texas can do is to enforce existing law," said Abbott.

Read/View The Entire State Of The State Speech Here

Abbott outlined examples of "deadly consequences" to not enforcing the law. "Juan Rios is a criminal alien who had been arrested in Texas multiple times and deported three times," said Abbott. "Last September, he went on a crime spree across Texas, killing two people and kidnapping another," Abbott continued.

Abbott described one of Rios' victims Welton Betts as an innocent victim who loved God, family and the Dallas Cowboys. "After leaving a Cowboys game last year, he stopped at a Texaco station in Cedar Hill where he was gunned down by Juan Rios," said Abbott.

Abbott said that it is time for Texas to take a stand and had harsh words for law enforcement leaders whom he claims are encouraging sanctuary status for some cities. "Some law enforcement officials in Texas are openly refusing to enforce existing law... that is unacceptable," said Abbott.

"Elected officials don't get to pick and choose which laws they obey. To protect Texans from deadly danger, we must insist our laws be followed," Abbott continued. "This is the session when we will ban sanctuary cities in Texas. I'm declaring this an emergency item so you can get to work on it tomorrow."

Abbott said that Texas should still continue its efforts to secure the border. He said he plans to meet with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly tomorrow to discuss the federal government's efforts to strengthen border security.

He said the state's budget includes funding for DPS troopers and the National Guard to help bolster security at the border.

"Texas will not flinch in our resolve to keep Texans safe," said Abbott.

Read/View the entire State Of The State Speech Here.

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