On Sept. 25, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit ruled that Texas could enforce key provisions of the bill while it appealed the lower court ruling. While the appeals panel rejected one component of the law, which would have barred officials from endorsing policies curbing immigration crackdowns, the rest now stands.
Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton applauded the ruling with a statement saying "dangerous criminals shouldn't be allowed back into our communities" to possibly commit more crimes. "I am calling on Congress to deliver a budget that protects our homeland and properly funds all of our law enforcement needs". "Enforcing immigration laws prevents the release of individuals in custody who have been charged with serious crimes, and we must not allow unsafe criminals to return to our communities to commit more crimes", he said. The White House has been blocked by judges elsewhere in the country from taking away federal funding from cities that shelter illegal immigrants, whom President Donald Trump has characterized as interlopers that take jobs and social services that rightfully belong to us citizens.
The law passed Texas 2017 legislative session in May, and the state was nearly immediately sued by the multiple cities and counties in the state, including San Antonio.
State Sen. Jose Menendez dismissed the law as "unnecessary and politically motivated" adding it was opposed by "virtually everyone in law enforcement".
"Austin Mayor Steve Adler expressed his disappointment and warned the law would "[break] down the trust" between officials and state residents.
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One of the most controversial components of SB 4, what opponents call the "papers please" provision, was never halted and has been law since September.
The Obama administration opposed sanctuary cities but Mr. Trump has taken that to a new level, going to war with sanctuaries particularly in California.
While not expressly mandating that every LEO in the state cooperate with all immigration enforcement action, the law stops any locale from forbidding such cooperation.
"We will continue to follow the law as provided to us by the courts in this matter and we will rise to the challenge of keeping Travis County safe, although our ability to overcome fear and foster cooperation within the immigrant community is a greater challenge now".
Mr. Gelernt, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Project, said his organization would also be monitoring how the law was carried out. The 5th Circuit Court then temporarily stayed the ruling so it could hear arguments.