Texas Anti-Sanctuary Law Mostly Survives Appeal Court Fight

Texas Anti-Sanctuary Law Mostly Survives Appeal Court Fight

Texas Anti-Sanctuary Law Mostly Survives Appeal Court Fight

The governor took to Twitter shortly after the ruling came down to write, "Texas Ban on Sanctuary City Policies upheld by Federal Court of Appeals".

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down one provision in the law enacted by the most-populous Republican-led state to punish local officials who endorse policies running contrary to the law.

As passed, Senate Bill 4 allows local law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of people they detain or arrest and punishes local government department heads and elected officials who don't cooperate with federal immigration "detainers" - requests by agents to turn over immigrants subject to possible deportation - in the form of jail time and penalties that exceed $25,000.

The measure proposes to prohibit local authorities from limiting their cooperation with federal immigration agencies and calls on local police to respond promptly to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests. The major cities that were plaintiffs in the suit said they had been abiding by all legal USA detainer requests.

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Shortly after the ruling, Abbott tweeted that the law is now in effect. "Law is in effect".

"Austin Mayor Steve Adler expressed his disappointment and warned the law would "[break] down the trust" between officials and state residents.

"Enforcing immigration law prevents the release of individuals from custody who have been charged with serious crimes", he said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has repeatedly said that sanctuary cities in the United States harbor illegal immigrants who pose a threat to U.S. national security.

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His administration filed a lawsuit last week challenging three of the state's sanctuary laws, and on Tuesday Mr. Trump - while visiting San Diego to tour prototypes of his border wall - said he wants Congress to strip federal grant money from sanctuaries in the upcoming spending bill.

SB4 has sparked controversy across Texas, pitting virtually all of the Lone Star State's major cities against the state government.

In August 2017, Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia in San Antonio found the legislation was unlikely to withstand constitutional scrutiny and blocked sections of the law just days before it was to take effect.

The case is City of El Cenizo v. Texas, 17-50762, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (New Orleans).

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Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who appeared before the 5th Circuit during oral argument, said the court did leave open the possibility that Texas's law could be illegal as it was carried out. 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.

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