On September 25, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit ruled that Texas could enforce key provisions of Senate Bill 4 while it appealed the lower court ruling. The White House has been blocked by judges elsewhere in the country from taking away federal funding from cities that shelter undocumented immigrants, whom President Donald Trump has characterized as interlopers that take jobs and social services that rightfully belong to us citizens.
The exception is a provision that punishes local officials for "endorsing" policies that limit federal immigration enforcement.
The Attorney General's office is the key enforcement agency for SB 4 and is accepting complaints regarding entities that violate the law. The panel also stated that law enforcement officers, including campus police, with "authority that may impact immigration" can not be prevented from assisting federal immigration officers.More news: Tim McGraw cutting back at the gym after on-stage collapse
"Senate Bill 4 is lawful, constitutional and protects the safety of law enforcement officers and all Texans", Mr. Paxton said. "SB4 accomplishes the same goal on a state-wide level". She added that no suspicion, reasonable or not, is required to ask questions of lawfully detained individuals. Police chiefs and sheriffs also warn it will make communities less safe, as immigrants shy away from reporting crimes or serving as witnesses for fear of calling attention to themselves or family members. At Nov. 7 oral arguments, the judges told lawyers they were concerned the harsh penalties could chill individuals' constitutional right to speak out personally against the ban.
But the Texas law remains worse in "a lot of respects", said Lee Gelernt, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which helped lead the lawsuit against SB4. "So we need to respond and act, within the law, to preserve as much of that trust as possible".
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has repeatedly said that sanctuary cities in the United States harbor illegal immigrants who pose a threat to USA national security. After the governor signed the bill during a Facebook Live in May, the city of El Cenizo and Maverick County sued to stop the law and was joined by several local governments, including the cities of Houston, Austin and San Antonio, as well as El Paso County.More news: Official Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald teaser trailer
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 also released a statement, applauding the decision and saying "dangerous criminals shouldn't be allowed back into our communities" to potentially commit more crimes. That case was filed March 6 in federal court in Sacramento, the state capital.
Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, quickly took to Twitter to announce that the "law is in effect" and that "allegations of discrimination were rejected".More news: National Geographic Admits to Past of Racist Coverage