Appeals Court upholds Sanctuary Cities Ban

Gov. Greg Abbott R-Texas quickly took to Twitter to announce that the “law is in effect” and that “allegations of discrimination were rejected.”

Gov. Greg Abbott R-Texas quickly took to Twitter to announce that the “law is in effect” and that “allegations of discrimination were rejected.”

A federal appeals court ruled late yesterday that Texas' ban on sanctuary cities can go into effect even as legal challenges to the law move forward. Appointed and elected officials, meanwhile, could be removed from office. 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.

Texas is the first state where these immigration laws will be implemented.

The Texas law allows police officers to ask people during routine stops whether they're in the US legally and threatens sheriffs with jail time for not cooperating with federal immigration authorities. "From day one, this law was racially motivated for political gain against the will of local law enforcement and to the detriment of thousands of immigrants who work, live, and call Texas home".

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According to the Texas Tribune, in August 2017, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia issued a preliminary injunction and halted the portion of the bill requiring jail officials to honor all detainers and another portion "that prohibits a pattern or practice that materially limits the enforcement of immigration laws". "Enforcing immigration law prevents the release of individuals from custody who have been charged with serious crimes". Local sanctuary-city "ordinances regulate whether and to what extend the local entities will participate in federal-local immigration enforcement cooperation". Critics complain this so-called "show me your papers" provision will lead to racial profiling of USA citizens and law-abiding immigrants.

With Tuesday's ruling, the sanctuary cities ban is now in effect and local officials could be fined anywhere from $1,000 to $25,000 if they do not uphold the law. "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".

Several local government agencies and local and national organizations filed a lawsuit against the state, including San Antonio, Dallas, Houston and Travis County to fight SB 4. Reacting to Tuesday's ruling, many of them expressed disappointment but also resolve.

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

The Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton, and Gov. Greg Abbott praised the decision in statements on Tuesday. "In fact, it likely means citizen's civil rights will be violated before we can stop this unjust law in the courts".

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