Lawyers for Texas said the law helped ensure conformity across the state on the application of immigration law and prevented localities from adopting positions of non-cooperation with federal authorities. "Today's ruling is one step in what is likely a long legal battle, and I remain hopeful that this law will eventually be ruled unconstitutional by the courts".
The law is in keeping with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's hardline anti-immigration agenda, as well as a growing dispute between the state government and officials like Sheriff Sally Hernandez, who serves Travis County, home to the capital city of Austin. The panel also stated that law enforcement officers, including campus police, with "authority that may impact immigration" can not be prevented from assisting federal immigration officers.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, which is helping with the case against the law, said after the ruling that it will look at challenging its enforcement, rather than the law itself, now that it is going into effect.
Under the law, known as SB4, the state can also require municipalities and local law enforcement officials to automatically honor federal immigration requests for assistance, particularly requests to detain individuals suspected of being in the country illegally until federal agents can take custody - except during times when an agency lacks the manpower or financial resources to comply. "Risky criminals shouldn't be allowed back into our communities to possibly commit more crimes".
A panel of federal judges is ruling in favor of the ban on sanctuary cities in Texas.
"Today's ruling by a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit doesn't change the fact that Senate Bill 4 is unnecessary, makes Texas communities less safe and complicates law enforcement officials' already hard jobs", Turner said. Sheriff Cutler and Chief Stapp tell us to just trust police, despite zealous implementation of the nation's most racist immigration law. Opponents say SB4 is a "show me your papers" law, one that violates the constitution.
SB4 had been slated to go into effect September 1, but just days before a federal district judge issued a broad injunction.
But the fight isn't over. "The court made clear that we remain free to challenge the manner in which the law is implemented, so we will be monitoring the situation on the ground closely", he said.
"The latest ruling underscores why local officials - on county and city levels - must act immediately to end the arrest-to-deportation pipeline that we've tragically come to know firsthand in recent months", Karen Muñoz of Mano Amiga said.
"Get it out of your system", he emphasized, "dust off, and get back to work".