Interviews

Gov. Abbott is working on a law to ban sanctuary cities

On 'Your World,' Texas governor leading a 15-state coalition in defense of Trump's revised travel order

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," April 10, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, he was from Uzbekistan, and he wanted asylum in Sweden. And, repeatedly, the Swedes rejected it, but he stayed in the country.

Authorities couldn't really kick him out of the country. And, of course, you know what happened in the country, taking out at least four and injuring dozens others in a shooting rampage that could have been a lot worse.

It's the kind of things that worries Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Governor, the same type of grief that you deal with those you try to kick out who wouldn't be here, but remain here and do God knows what. What do you think?

GOV. GREG ABBOTT, R-TEXAS: Well, and, Neil, that -- that's part of what's behind our efforts here in the state of Texas, for example, to crack down on sanctuary city policies.

That's why, in this capitol behind me right now, we're working to pass a law that I will sign here in a couple of weeks that will ban sanctuary cities. It will pose stiff penalties for any county or city -- county, city official that tries to adopt sanctuary city policies, because we're not going to either import or maintain danger on our streets here in Texas.

And, Neil, that's also why earlier today I announced a crackdown on gang activity in Houston, Texas, so we can do more to rid ourselves of gangs MS- 13 to keep our streets safe.

CAVUTO: Well, what happens, Governor? I know you're part of this consortium of states, I think 15 at last count, in support of the president's revised immigration order, and not like those that are trying to stop it and its implementation.

But I don't understand how, if you have been rejected or you can't be here, and authorities are -- won't even relay that to ICE agents. Then your hands are tied.

ABBOTT: Right.

Well, on that ban, listen, the law is pretty clear. The law is that if you're a resident or citizen of another country, you don't have any inherent right to come to the United States. The law is clear that the president has both the authority and the flexibility for safety purposes to decide who gets to come into the United States.

And the facts are clear that both the President Barack Obama, as well as Congress, identified seven countries where it was impossible to be able to adequately vet people coming from these countries that had connections to terror.

And so the president is fully within his authority to be able to reject for at least a short period of time people from terror-sponsored nations. And there's a reason for this, Neil. Think back to last November, when you saw the killing occur on the campus of Ohio State University.

CAVUTO: Right.

ABBOTT: That dealt with an immigrant from -- or, rather, a refugee from Somalia who came through the state of Texas, by the way, went up to Ohio State, and went on that car rampage, endangering the students at Ohio State University campus.

We in the United States of America should not sponsor opportunities for people to come in and wreck terror in or country like that.

CAVUTO: Or to institutionalize it.

But, Governor, let me switch gears, if you don't mind. The tax cut at least in Washington seems to be getting delayed. I'm not at this point saying denied, but it's going to get pushed back a little further. Growing talk as to whether everyone gets a tax cut as well. We just don't know.

But I know tax cuts have been a very big boon to Texas and what you have been able to do and encourage businesses. Are you worried that if it falls apart on a national basis, or ends up not being as generous, not being as sweeping, maybe being as comprehensive, way too early to tell, but we do know delayed, do you get worried?

ABBOTT: Well, it's too early.

You mentioned two things. First, and that is Texas has been the magnet to create jobs, bringing people here from other states and businesses relocating from other states. And the reason is because we have a low tax and low regulatory environment.

What the president is trying to achieve really is to replicate the Texas model. And he wants to cut taxes to energize business to grow even more jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs.

CAVUTO: But he's run into more opposition from fellow Republicans, right. who don't agree on the broad principles of that, right?

ABBOTT: Well, and that's what they need to do, Neil.

And I feel confident that when everyone sits down and talks through the math of the situation, they are going to be able to find a way to both cut taxes without increasing the deficit. Both the deficit and the debt...

CAVUTO: Do you think he should go into that, Governor, saying that it should be revenue-neutral in the beginning, or do you accept some deficits with the hope being that you will get revenue later?

ABBOTT: The goal -- one of the goals has to be to decrease both the deficit and the debt.

We obviously are $20 trillion into debt. And we shouldn't stock -- stocking any more into debt in this nation.

However, there are ways that they can still cut taxes to stimulate job growth that, through that stimulation, we will be able to decrease both the debt and the deficit.

CAVUTO: All right, Governor, we will see what happens. Thank you, sir. Very good with you.

Greg Abbott, the governor of the beautiful state of Texas.

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