Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Texas Federal Judge Blocks ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Law

Late Wednesday, a federal judge temporarily blocked most of Texas’ tough new “sanctuary cities” law that enabled police to inquire about people’s immigration status during routine interactions such as traffic stops. The SB 4 law, nicknamed the “show me your papers” law, has been very publicly decried by immigrants’ rights groups, however, lauded by the Trump administration.

In a 94-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia wrote that there “is overwhelming evidence by local officials, including local law enforcement, that SB 4 will erode public trust and make many communities and neighborhoods less safe” and that “localities will suffer adverse economic consequences which, in turn, will harm the state of Texas.”

Despite months of protests and opposition from business groups who worried that the measure would cause a labor-force shortage in industries such as construction, it managed to pass through the Republican-controlled Legislature. Opponents sued arguing that it violated the U.S. Constitution.

“The Court cannot and does not second guess the Legislature,” continued Garcia. “However, the state may not exercise its authority in a manner that violates the United States Constitution.”

Garcia’s order suspends the law’s most contentious language and suggests that event he parts that remain will not go forward without withstanding legal challenges. The Trump administration has made “sanctuary cities” a target, with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatening to pull federal money from jurisdictions that hinder communication between local police and immigration authorities, ultimately praising Texas’ law.

NBC News