Federal Appeals Court Upholds Most of Texas' Sanctuary Cities Law

U.S. appeals court upholds Texas law against 'sanctuary cities'

U.S. appeals court upholds Texas law against 'sanctuary cities'

In January, the U.S. District Court in Corpus Christi ruled that two court-appointed special masters must oversee the Texas foster care system for three years.

On Tuesday, the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled in favor of Texas' crackdown on "sanctuary cities".

SB4 passed by the Texas Legislature last spring, requiring police chiefs and sheriffs to cooperate with federal immigration officials.

Officials like Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Governor Greg Abbott praised the ruling. "The discriminatory impact of the law has already had repercussions across the state, casting a chilling effect throughout Texas' Latino communities". The court didn't even rule all of that out, but took exception with the word "endorse".

The ruling overturns an injunction by a San Antonio federal judge who found portions of the law unconstitutional.

According to the US-based media reports, the "Sanctuary cities" bill allows police officers to ask people during routine stops whether they are in the United States legally and threatens local sheriffs with jail time for not cooperating with federal immigration authorities. "Enforcing immigration laws prevents the release of individuals in custody who have been charged with serious crimes, and we must not allow risky criminals to return to our communities to commit more crimes", he said. "Risky criminals shouldn't be allowed back into our communities to possibly commit more crimes".

Mayor Steve Adler was reserved in his statement to the press.

One of the most controversial components of SB 4, what opponents call the "papers please" provision, was never halted and has been law since September.

"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. Around 35 percent of the city's residents are Latinx; under the Obama administration, an escalation in raids and deportations soured relations between community members and law enforcement, something the election of President Trump has not eased.

"We are exploring all legal options going forward. We are also pleased that the court narrowed the law in certain respects and accepted Texas' critical concession that localities are free to decline ICE requests for assistance to preserve local resources", said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project.

If you're a supporter of so-called sanctuary cities, you were just handed a big defeat by the 5th Circuit Court of appeals.

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