01:39 - Source: CNN
Sanctuary cities: What you need to know

Story highlights

At least seven states have banned sanctuary cities

Lawmakers around the country are weighing similar measures

CNN  — 

Texas isn’t the first state to ban sanctuary cities. And it might not be the last.

More than 80 bills related to so-called sanctuary policies are pending across the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

That’s because a controversial question is increasingly becoming a political lightning rod: Can local governments limit their cooperation with the feds when it comes to immigration enforcement?

President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have answered with a resounding no, vowing to strip funding from sanctuary cities. Some local governments have fired back with lawsuits and maintained that they won’t go out of their way to help an immigration crackdown that puts members of their communities at risk.

While the case makes its way through the courts, political battles over the matter are playing out in state legislatures across the country.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill banning sanctuary cities in his state on Sunday.

Here’s a look at other states that have passed measures banning sanctuary cities, and states that are weighing whether to take similar steps:


There aren’t currently any sanctuary cities in Mississippi, but that didn’t stop state lawmakers from approving a ban on them earlier this year, according to The Hill.

The measure blocks counties, cities and colleges “from creating, planning, implementing, assisting, participating in, or enabling a sanctuary policy.”

North Carolina

Lawmakers in this Southern state passed a ban on sanctuary cities well before Trump took office. Then-Gov. Pat McCrory signed the measure back in 2015.

Now legislators have taken up the matter again. A proposal that would strip state revenue sources from sanctuary jurisdictions is making its way through the legislature.


The state’s controversial 2011 law aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration, HB 56, also included a ban on sanctuary cities.

Now lawmakers there are weighing a ban on sanctuary policies at public colleges and universities, according to a report from the Institute for Southern Studies.

South Carolina

Courts struck down most of South Carolina’s 2011 immigration law.

But some of it remains on the books, including a part that says no local entity can restrict the enforcement of federal immigration laws, the institute says.


In 2009, Georgia passed a law banning sanctuary cities.

Last year the state also passed a measure requiring local governments to submit an annual certification that they don’t have sanctuary policies in order to receive government funds. And last month the state’s governor signed a bill that bans sanctuary policies at private colleges.


This state also passed a ban on sanctuary cities in 2009. Now a state senator says he’s proposing a new measure that “has teeth.” SB 155 says local governments that adopt or enact a sanctuary policy won’t be eligible for state funding until they rescind or repeal the measure.

There aren’t officially any sanctuary cities in the state, according to The Tennessean. But state Sen. Mark Green told the newspaper he’s worried that some local governments are picking and choosing which laws they enforce.

States where bills are pending

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in addition to the states detailed above, at least 20 states are weighing measures against sanctuary policies:















New Jersey

New York




Rhode Island

CNN’s Toby Lyles contributed to this report.