United States appeals court upholds Texas law targeting sanctuary cities

United States appeals court upholds Texas law targeting sanctuary cities

A Texas immigration crackdown on "sanctuary cities" took effect Tuesday after a federal appeals court upheld a divisive law backed by the Trump administration that threatens elected officials with jail time and allows police officers to ask people during routine stops whether they're in the US illegally.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans allows Texas to enforce what critics call the toughest state-level immigration measure since Arizona passed what critics called a "Show Me Your Papers" law in 2010.

The Legislature enacted the law earlier this year to set a statewide policy of cooperation with federal immigration authorities enforcing the nation's immigration laws...

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

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.

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. SB 4 allows law enforcement to question the immigration status of people who have been detained or are under arrest. "Risky criminals shouldn't be allowed back into our communities to possibly commit more crimes". He also blocked sections that prohibit local entities from pursuing "a pattern or practice that "materially limits" the enforcement of immigration laws" and another that prohibits "assisting or cooperating" with federal immigration officers as reasonable or necessary. "Law is in effect".

Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez, a bullseye for legislators targeting sanctuary cities due to her previous limited cooperation with ICE, said in a statement in a statement: "Words just can't express how disappointed I am with this ruling. So we need to respond and act, within the law, to preserve as much of that trust as possible". "We are also pleased that the court narrowed the law in certain respects".

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