US Appeals Court Upholds Texas’ Ban on ‘Sanctuary Cities’
The law allows police officers to ask people during routine stops whether they’re in the U.S. legally
Published at 5:45 PM CDT on Mar 13, 2018 | Updated at 6:16 PM CDT on Mar 13, 2018
A federal appeals court Tuesday upheld the bulk of Texas’ crackdown on “sanctuary cities” in a victory for the Trump administration as part of its aggressive fight against measures seen as protecting immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally.
The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans allows Texas to enforce what critics call the toughest state-level immigration measure since Arizona passed what critics called a “Show Me Your Papers” law in 2010.
The law allows police officers to ask people during routine stops whether they’re in the U.S. legally and threatens sheriffs with jail time for not cooperating with federal immigration authorities.
The ruling comes a week after the U.S. Justice Department — which had joined Texas in defending the law known as Senate Bill 4 — sued California over state laws aimed at protecting immigrants.
“Dangerous criminals shouldn’t be allowed back into our communities to possibly commit more crimes,” Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in response to the decision.
Leading the lawsuit were Texas’ largest cities— including Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin — in a state where the Hispanic population has grown at a pace three times that of white residents since 2010.
Under the Texas law, local authorities who fail to honor federal requests to hold people jailed on offenses that aren’t immigration related for possible deportation can be fined. Police chiefs, sheriffs and constables could also now face removal from office and even criminal charges for failing to comply with such federal “detainer” requests.
Lee Gelernt, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said they were disappointed in the ruling and will closely monitor how the law is implemented. The only part of the Texas law removed by the court was a portion prohibiting local officials from “endorsing” policies that limit immigration enforcement.
“This is the toughest state law in the country,” he said.
US police chiefs are fighting the crackdown on “sanctuary cities”
by Julián Aguilar Aug. 9, 2017 Updated: 3 hours ago
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks on Wednesday dismissed the state of Texas’ lawsuit against Travis County and other defendants over the state’s new immigration enforcement law.
Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a pre-emptive lawsuit shortly after the bill was signed in May seeking a ruling that the controversial measure is constitutional. Among the defendants named in Paxton’s suit were the city of Austin; Travis County and its sheriff, Sally Hernandez; and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Houston City Council voted Wednesday to sue the state over its new “sanctuary cities” law, joining Texas’ three other largest cities in challenging the controversial measure.
Council voted 10-6 to join San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, El Paso County and several other local governments and nonprofits in a consolidated case challenging the state. Councilman Jack Christie abstained.
A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Monday.
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