The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overruled a judgment against a Texas law, the Senate Bill 4 (SB4), that prohibits "sanctuary city" policies in the state, a court filing revealed. The exception is a provision that punishes local officials for "endorsing" policies that limit federal immigration enforcement.
On January 25, President Donald Trump ordered the resumption of the 2008 Secure Communities program that relied on information sharing among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to identify and deport immigrants with criminal records.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton defended the state's sanctuary-city ban as necessary to protect citizens from criminal immigrants whose presence makes USA communities "more unsafe by the day".
The case is City of El Cenizo v. Texas, 17-50762, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (New Orleans).
The Obama administration opposed sanctuary cities but Mr. Trump has taken that to a new level, going to war with sanctuaries particularly in California.
"Today, Texas families are calling on our local elected officials and law enforcement to take action to protect our families". The Senate bill was enacted in the state of Texas last May.
Chris Turner, chairman of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, said the law, whether it is constitutional or not, is bad policy.
State Sen. Jose Menendez dismissed the law as "unnecessary and politically motivated" adding it was opposed by "virtually everyone in law enforcement". They said detainers forced state or local police to hold illegal immigrants beyond their usual release time, infringing on their Fourth Amendment rights.
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"W$3 e need to respond and act, within the law, to preserve as much of that trust as possible", Adler said.
"Federal law regulates how local entities may cooperate in immigration enforcement; SB4 specifies whether they cooperate", Jones wrote for a unanimous panel.
SB4 has sparked controversy across Texas, pitting virtually all of the Lone Star State's major cities against the state government. Republican lawmakers and Gov. Greg Abbott championed the legislation to push back at sanctuary cities, which restrict their officers from cooperating in the feds' immigration enforcement efforts. "Law is in effect".
Mike Siegel, assistant city attorney in Austin and a Democratic candidate for Congress, tweeted that Tuesday's ruling is a "terrible result".
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was more effusive in his statement that praised what he termed a "common-sense measure that bans sanctuary cities in Texas".
"We will continue to follow the law as provided to us by the courts in this matter, and we will rise to the challenge of keeping Travis County safe, although our ability to overcome fear and foster cooperation within the immigrant community is a greater challenge now", said Hernandez, the Travis County sheriff.
"We are exploring all legal options going forward".
"We will be monitoring the situation on the ground closely", Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said in a statement.