Thursday, 24 May, 2018

US Court Upholds Most Of Texas Law To Punish 'Sanctuary Cities'

US appeals court upholds Texas law targeting sanctuary cities Texas' Ban on 'Sanctuary Cities' Can Begin, Appeals Court Rules
Lillian Steele | 15 March, 2018, 05:42

"I'm pleased the 5th Circuit recognized that Senate Bill 4 is lawful, constitutional and protects the safety of law enforcement officers and all Texans", Attorney General Paxton said. "Enforcing immigration laws prevents the release of individuals in custody who have been charged with serious crimes, and we must not allow unsafe criminals to return to our communities to commit more crimes", he said.

"The foregoing discussion demonstrates there is no merit in their [plaintiff's] remaining arguments, and none of the other challenged provisions of SB4 facially violate the Constitution", the court document said on Tuesday.

The court ruled Tuesday most of the law can take effect while the case plays out. "Risky criminals shouldn't be allowed back into our communities to possibly commit more crimes", Paxton said.

Plaintiffs including the cities of Houston, Dallas and Austin said the provision would allow the state to remove duly elected officials if they criticized the measure, a violation of constitutional free-speech protections.

The law passed Texas 2017 legislative session in May, and the state was nearly immediately sued by the multiple cities and counties in the state, including San Antonio.

According to the Texas Tribune, in August 2017, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia issued a preliminary injunction and halted the portion of the bill requiring jail officials to honor all detainers and another portion "that prohibits a pattern or practice that materially limits the enforcement of immigration laws". "From day one, this law was racially motivated for political gain against the will of local law enforcement and to the detriment of thousands of immigrants who work, live, and call Texas home".

The law is one of the most controversial in recent Texas history.

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.

While not expressly mandating that every LEO in the state cooperate with all immigration enforcement action, the law stops any locale from forbidding such cooperation. The Fifth Circuit's decision, although frustrating, does not change the fact that we all have rights, the most important thing is the right to remain silent when questioned.by the police regarding their immigration status, "said Andre Segura, legal director of the American Civil Liberties and Rights Union (ACLU) of Texas".

Texas, however, had been a rare bright spot for the Trump administration, with state officials moving to back him up in opposing sanctuaries.

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