5th Circuit Upholds Sanctuary Cities Law

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The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down one provision in the law enacted by the most-populous Republican-led state to punish local officials who endorse policies running contrary to the law.

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. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, and the ACLU represented several of the clients.

"After consulting its clients, MALDEF will pursue the most appropriate legal course to continue to challenge and restrict SB 4", Saenz said.

"Today's ruling by a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit doesn't change the fact that Senate Bill 4 is unnecessary, makes Texas communities less safe and complicates law enforcement officials' already hard jobs", Turner said.

The conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decided yesterday (Tuesday) that the bulk of Texas' anti-immigrant Senate Bill 4 can stay in place for now. This month, the administration sued California, accusing it of trying to "obstruct the United States' enforcement of federal immigration law".

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A separate panel of judges ruled in September that the detainer provision could stand until a final determination was made.

On January 25, President Donald Trump ordered the resumption of the 2008 Secure Communities program that relied on information sharing among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to identify and deport immigrants with criminal records.

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 USA illegally. Allegations of discrimination were rejected.

In August 2017, Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia in San Antonio found the legislation was unlikely to withstand constitutional scrutiny and blocked sections of the law just days before it was to take effect.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was more effusive in his statement that praised what he termed a "common-sense measure that bans sanctuary cities in Texas". "Unsafe criminals shouldn't be allowed back into our communities to possibly commit more crimes".

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