Federal judge blocks Texas tough 'sanctuary cities' law

Federal judge blocks Texas from enforcing new abortion restrictions

A federal judge late Wednesday temporarily blocked a Texas law targeting sanctuary cities from taking effect.

The court did not, however, enjoin one of the parts of SB 4 that attracted the most controversy when the bill was passed earlier this summer: the provision that forces local police departments to allow officers to ask about the immigration status of residents during a detention or arrest. "The government may disagree with certain viewpoints, but they can not ban them just because they are inconsistent with the view that the government seeks to promote", Garcia said in his decision, which primarily concerned the law's provisions preventing local officials from limiting immigration enforcement.

"There is also ample evidence that localities will suffer adverse economic consequences which, in turn, harm the State of Texas", he added.

At one point, federal officials were publishing a list of crimes reportedly committed by undocumented immigrants in sanctuary cities, but stopped after multiple jurisdictions began questioning the accuracy of the reports.

"Garcia said the state's 'meager effort" to defend the endorsement ban rings hollow, and that Texas did not offer any viable suggestions as to how the ban could be narrowly construed and applied in a constitutional manner.

"The Court therefore concludes that Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their claims that the provisions of SB 4 that require local entities to fulfill all ICE detainer requests ... facially violate the Fourth Amendment", Garcia said.

He also said in his 94-page ruling that the law would ultimately make the state less safe. A second part of the bill also included in the injunction was, "a pattern or practice that "materially limits" the enforcement of immigration laws".

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia issued an injunction that prevents Texas Senate Bill 4 from being implemented until a lawsuit challenging it is resolved, the Huffington Post reported.

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Major Democrat-run cities in Texas including Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas joined the challenge to the law, which was passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature in May.

Nevertheless, federal agents are not enforcing immigration law at evacuation sites, shelters, or food banks where people affected by flooding are seeking aid, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement on Wednesday.

Expect Texas to fight this case all the way to the Supreme Court.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Garcia's ruling was risky, but that, like Paxton, he's confident the state will win its case when a final decision is issued.

But opponents of the measure, including the cities of Houston, Austin, San Antonio and El Cenizo, as well as Maverick and El Paso counties, have argued the law violates several provisions of the U.S. Constitution and filed a lawsuit against Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton in San Antonio in hopes of blocking it.

He said he would immediately appeal the decision and was confident the law would eventually be upheld.

The new Texas law uses the non-medical term "dismemberment abortion" to describe a procedure in which forceps and other instruments are used to remove the fetus from the womb. "Our community has the power to enact policies that will protect community members in our city from unnecessary arrest, incarceration, and deportation".

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