Texas lawmakers rush to take up 'sanctuary cities' bill

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Senate has begun debating a proposed ban on "sanctuary cities," capitalizing on President Donald Trump's call for a crackdown on illegal immigration to muscle the hotly contested proposal toward passage in record time.

A legislative committee approved the bill Friday after midnight, despite hundreds of Texans lining up to oppose it and frequent disruptions by protesters.

Tuesday may feature more demonstrations, and debate could take hours. But Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has declared the bill an "emergency" item, allowing the Republican-controlled Senate to approve it as quickly as possible.

The proposal denies state grant money to jurisdictions where police refuse federal requests to hand over immigrants already in custody for possible deportation.

Abbott also has called for removing from office locally elected officials who resist such requests.