Boom: Federal Court Allows Texas To Enforce Governor's Anti-Sanctuary City Law

US appeals court upholds Texas ban on'sanctuary cities

A US appeals court panel on Tuesday upheld most of a Republican-backed Texas law to punish 'sanctuary cities, ' allowing it to remain in effect while the case is being fought in a lower court.

But he did not halt the part of the bill that says police chiefs, sheriffs and other department heads can not forbid officers from questioning a person's immigration status, which means that Texas has been what opponents of the measure call a "papers please" state since the law took effect. 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 law also punished local elected officials, police chiefs and other law enforcement leaders who enacted or carried out sanctuary policies that refused cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Texas towns, cities and college campuses must also roll back policies that protect undocumented immigrants or risk the same crippling fines.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, which is helping with the case against the law, said after the ruling that it will look at challenging its enforcement, rather than the law itself, now that it is going into effect.

The law, known as Senate Bill 4, calls for jail for police chiefs, sheriffs and possibly frontline officers who fail to cooperate over USA immigration. Sessions admonished California politicians for not cooperating with federal authorities on immigration enforcement issues. "SB4 accomplishes the same goal on a state-wide level".

Andre Segura, legal director of the ACLU of Texas, said illegal immigrants also still have the right to remain silent when questioned about their immigration status. Critics complain this so-called "show me your papers" provision will lead to racial profiling of USA citizens and law-abiding immigrants.

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"It does nothing to make anyone safer and it will drive a wedge between law enforcement and certain people", he said. 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. "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", he said.

Shortly after the bill was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott, most large cities in Texas, including Austin, filed a lawsuit alleging constitutional violations. But Tuesday night's ruling means the law goes forward - with stark implications for many Texans.

"We continue the struggle on two fronts: another court appeal, and the work to elect new representation in Congress", he said.

Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the decision, saying in a statement: 'Enforcing immigration law prevents the release of individuals from custody who have been charged with serious crimes'.

The law explicitly said local jurisdictions should comply with detainer requests. The court has not made a final decision in the case.

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