Appeals Court Upholds Most of Texas' Anti-Sanctuary Cities Bill

15 March, 2018, 05:39 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • US appeals court upholds Texas law targeting sanctuary cities

All but one provision of Texas' 2017 sanctuary cities law can be enforced as the law makes its long journey through the federal courts, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

It also threatens officials with jail time for not cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

Attorney General Ken Paxton, who had defended the law in court, said he was pleased with the ruling. Virtually all of the state's urban areas filed suit to stop the law from taking effect, arguing it would hinder safety efforts and harm cities. "For the following reasons, we uphold the statute in its entirety except for the application of the "endorsement" prohibition ... to elected officials". The White House has been blocked by judges elsewhere in the country from taking away federal funding from cities that shelter illegal immigrants, whom President Donald Trump has characterized as interlopers that take jobs and social services that rightfully belong to us citizens.

According to the US-based media reports, the "Sanctuary cities" bill allows police officers to ask people during routine stops whether they are in the U.S. legally and threatens local sheriffs with jail time for not cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

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Lawyers for Texas said the law helped ensure conformity across the state on the application of immigration law and prevented localities from adopting positions of non-cooperation with federal authorities.

In its decision, the 5th Circuit said: "With one exception, SB 4's provisions do not, on their face, violate the Constitution".

"Dangerous criminals shouldn't be allowed back into our communities to possibly commit more crimes", Atty.

The Obama administration opposed sanctuary cities but Mr. Trump has taken that to a new level, going to war with sanctuaries particularly in California.

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Among those challenging the Texas law were several of the state's largest cities and counties - including Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, as well as El Paso County - and a number of advocacy groups.

"Words just can't express how disappointed I am with this ruling".

SB4 had been slated to go into effect September 1, but just days before a federal district judge issued a broad injunction. The court made clear that we remain free to challenge the manner in which the law is implemented, so we will be monitoring the situation on the ground closely.

The law also requires local law enforcement agencies to comply with detainer requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, unless there is proof that the person is a citizen or lawfully in the country.

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