Trump Admin Gangs Up On Texas Border Towns Supporting Sanctuary Cities

Posted June 27, 2017

"Parties may disagree with the state legislature's policy determinations in enacting SB 4, but nothing in federal immigration law precludes a state from directing law enforcement officers in the state to cooperate with the federal government, rather than merely permitting them to do so on an ad hoc basis". Some members of Congress have raised concerns about spending limited federal dollars to deport otherwise law-abiding immigrants, who are often parents of USA citizens. The first hearing in the case, in which the court will consider whether to temporarily block the law, is Monday. SB 4 also allows local police officers to ask the immigration status of anyone they stop, drawing comparisons to an Arizona law derided by critics as the "show me your papers" law.

Some Texas law enforcement officials have said the new measure will make it tougher to keep communities with high immigrant populations safe, undercut relationships with those groups and deter the victims and witnesses of crimes from coming forward out of fear of deportation. Opponents say it violates the U.S. Constitution by threatening free speech and equal protection.

On Friday, the United States Department of Justice sided with Texas ahead of the hearing, arguing that SB 4 "is not preempted by the Supremacy Clause, it is not inconsistent with the Tenth Amendment, and it does not violate the Fourth Amendment".

On Monday morning, the battle over Senate Bill 4, the sanctuary cities bill now signed into law, begins as Austin, Dallas, Houston, El Paso County and several other organizations will challenge Gov. Greg Abbott's "anti-immigrant" legislation.

Garcia ruled in a separate case this month that a county jail in Texas had illegally detained an immigrant on behalf of ICE.

Plaintiffs also contended the law could lead to racial profiling and divert resources from local police who would be under the threat of job loss and fines if they do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities. She later said she would follow any law that passed.

The U.S. Department of Justice has officially filed a brief supporting Texas' sanctuary cities ban.

Trump campaigned against sanctuary cities and on January 25 issued an executive order to punish them.

Numerous Texas cities, including Austin, have sued the state in an attempt to block the implementation of SB 4, which is set to take effect on September 1. That order has been temporarily blocked in federal court in San Francisco.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has moved its 2018 conference from Grapevine, Tex., to San Francisco because of the law.