United States appeals court upholds Texas law targeting sanctuary cities

United States appeals court upholds Texas law targeting sanctuary cities”

A federal appeals court upheld a majority of Texas law that targets sanctuary cities and cracks down on illegal immigration Tuesday afternoon.

The law, known as Senate Bill 4, calls for jail for police chiefs, sheriffs and possibly frontline officers who fail to cooperate over US immigration.

It also threatens officials with jail time for not cooperating with federal immigration authorities. "Today's ruling is one step in what is likely a long legal battle and I remain hopeful that this law will eventually be ruled unconstitutional by the courts".

Governor Greg Abbott, who signed Senate Bill 4 into law, declared victory after the court ruled.

Lee Gelernt, the deputy director for the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrant's Rights Project, said the organization was disappointed in the ruling but would closely monitor how it is implemented.

Plaintiffs including the cities of Houston, Dallas and Austin said the provision would allow the state to remove duly elected officials if they criticized the measure, a violation of constitutional free-speech protections.

In August, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia halted several parts of the bill, including the provision that requires jail officials to honor the detainer provision.

A three-judge panel in New Oreans' 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Texas' current immigration enforcement laws are constitutional. The panel also stated that law enforcement officers, including campus police, with "authority that may impact immigration" can not be prevented from assisting federal immigration officers.

A separate panel of three appellate judges ruled in September that the provision that allowed local law enforcement to turn over immigrants to federal immigration officials could stand until a final decision was made.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott quickly took to Twitter to announce that the "law is in effect" and that "allegations of discrimination were rejected".

Texas Republican leaders have not identified any sanctuary cities in the state. "Law is in effect".

"Enforcing immigration law prevents the release of individuals from custody who have been charged with serious crimes", he said.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also tweeted his win in the case. "Risky criminals shouldn't be allowed back into our communities to possibly commit more crimes".

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