Federal Judge Blocks Texas Anti-Sanctuary Law

(Daily Caller News Foundation) A federal judge on Wednesday night temporarily blocked a Texas immigration law that bans sanctuary jurisdictions throughout the state.

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Greg Abbott/ Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC)

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia in San Antonio issued a temporary injunction against Senate Bill 4, which was set to go into effect on Friday, reports the Associated Press.

SB4 is widely regarded as the toughest statewide anti-sanctuary city law in the country. The bill allows police officers to inquire about the immigration status of people they detain or arrest and requires local law enforcement agencies to honor detention requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Supporters including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and state Attorney General Ken Paxton say SB4 is a constitutionally sound measure that will take dangerous criminals off the street.

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In the weeks after Abbott signed SB4 in May, several of the state’s largest cities joined a federal lawsuit that civil rights groups and a small border town filed against the law. Opponents call SB4 a “show me your papers” law that will promote unconstitutional racial profiling.

Garcia’s injunction prevents the law from being enforced while the case works its way through the federal courts. As the toughest state-level crackdown on illegal immigration, SB4 is likely to serve as a test case for how far states can go in compelling local governments to enforce immigration law.

In addition to provisions on ICE detainers and police stops, SB4 also allows Texas to remove police chiefs and sheriffs from office if they refuse to comply with the law.

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