By JIM VERTUNO
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Eager to capitalize on momentum from President Donald Trump's call for a crackdown on illegal immigration, Texas Republicans have begun their push to ban so-called "sanctuary cities," an issue Gov. Greg Abbott has declared one of his "emergency" issues for the state.
The Republican-controlled state Senate held its first hearing on a bill Thursday. The meeting in the stately chamber was disrupted several times by demonstrators singing songs or directing jeers at Abbott, who didn't attend.
The bill would deny state grant money to jurisdictions where police refuse federal requests to hand over immigrants already in custody for possible deportation.
Abbott has also called for the power to remove from office locally elected officials that resist. The Senate is expected to pass the bill as early as next week.