Associated Press - August 20, 2008 10:55 AM ET
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Two Republican state lawmakers are asking the state attorney general how far Texas can go on its own to deal with illegal immigration.
State Representative Frank Corte of San Antonio and state Senator Dan Patrick of Houston asked about the legality of yanking licenses of businesses that hire illegal immigrants and banning cities from enacting "sanctuary" ordinances.
The request for a legal opinion from Attorney General Greg Abbott hints at a possible flare-up over immigration issues in the 2009 legislative session, which begins in January.
Several cities already encourage their police not to focus on immigration status of witnesses and victims.
Last year, several Republican lawmakers proposed a slew of anti-immigration bills. Nearly all failed after the attorney general said they'd violate the U.S. Constitution or overstep federal authority.