While not a total collapse, the portions of the law which were blocked had the real teeth in this legislation.
SB4 was signed into law in May by Texas’ Republican governor, Greg Abbott, amid fierce opposition from Democrats in the state’s liberal-leaning cities and Latino rights groups who dubbed it a “show me your papers” plan that invites racial profiling. Ignoring deportation requests is perfectly legal under federal law, which means the Trump administration can try to withhold federal funds from communities that don’t comply with deportation requests.
The law, Senate Bill 4, was challenged by several cities and counties, including the cities of Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Dallas.
“There is overwhelming evidence by local officials, including local law enforcement”, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia wrote in his injunction, “that SB 4 will erode public trust and make many communities and neighborhoods less safe”, HuffPost reports.
The law was slated to go into effect on Friday. SB 4 was related to immigration enforcement by local governmental entities.
Few localities in Texas actually declare themselves “sanctuaries” for undocumented immigrants, though many, including Houston, say they are “welcoming” cities and limit how frequently they will cooperate with federal immigration officials.
The judge left in place the part of the law authorizing local law enforcement officials to question the immigration status of anybody they detain. City staff and lawyers working on the case said they would have more information Thursday.
“We don’t have to look far to see the real-life effects of this anti-immigrant law”.
The cities and advocacy groups that sued over SB 4, however, don’t see this as a huge setback.
“Every person has a right to refuse any question posed by a local police officer or sheriffs deputy about immigration status, and the refusal to answer questions about immigration should have no repercussions”, he said.
Communication and cooperation by state and local law enforcement with federal officials is essential to combating the negative effects of illegal immigration, including crimes committed by released illegals. And on that count, they believe they’ve won a huge victory.
The judge’s ruling on Wednesday is temporary and the state will appeal it, but it did not seem at all disconnected from the powerful display of America projected before the nation. After all, the Department of Justice submitted a brief in favor of SB 4. Possibilities now include an appeal of Judge Garcia’s injunction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Hundreds of protesters gather on the south steps of the state Capitol in Austin in May to protest the sanctuary cities ban. It would have punished so-called sanctuary cities and fined local officials who were uncooperative with federal agencies.
The federal judge found that local officials can ask about immigration status while carrying their duties, as well as share that information with ICE officials.