Texas' Sanctuary City Ban Blocked by Federal Judge

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The measure sailed through the Republican-controlled Legislature despite months of protests and opposition from business groups, which anxious that it could cause a labor-force shortage and send a negative economic message. He also continued holding illegal aliens without a criminal warrant, in violation of Snow's injunction against "detaining Latino occupants of vehicles stopped for traffic violations for a period longer than reasonably necessary to resolve the traffic violation in the absence of reasonable suspicion that any of them have committed or are committing a violation of federal or state criminal law".

"We're grateful that today's decision will protect women's access to one of the safest and most common methods of abortion in the second trimester", Raegan McDonald-Mosley, chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America said in a statement.

The ruling doesn't stop every part of the law that had local police officers concerned.

The decision in Texas could have ramifications nationwide as other Republican-controlled states are looking at legislation targeting sanctuary cities, which they say illegally shield immigrants. SB 4 was authored by State Senator Charles Perry (R- Lubbock) and it was set to go into effect on September 1. "I do not want you to run the risk of losing your life or a family member because you're concerned about SB 4 or anything else". It would also force local officials to hand over undocumented immigrants to federal agencies after they're released from local custody.

"We don't have to look far to see the real-life effects of this anti-immigrant law".

"Despite the vagueness and overbreadth of the endorsement prohibition, SB 4 makes one thing quite clear-one viewpoint on local immigration policy is banned and the opposite viewpoint is permitted".

Garcia did, however, uphold a provision authorizing police officers to ask arrestees about their immigration status. "If you are anxious about your immigration status or concerned that you might be arrested, it's important to meet with an experienced immigration lawyer to understand your options".

But it's not entirely clear, in practice, how much those safeguards actually mean. SB4 always was and will prove to be about nothing more than encouraging police to racially profile people of color.

SB 4 overruled the policies cities put in place. Texas officials have said they plan to fight the block. They maintain the new rules will make the state safer from crimes committed by what they call criminal aliens, and only law-breakers have anything to fear. The rumours turned out to be untrue but some believed them, he said. Possibilities now include an appeal of Judge Garcia's injunction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. After all, the Department of Justice submitted a brief in favor of SB 4. That reality, along with signaling from Abbott that legal battles over SB4 will continue, is leading officials and activists to taper their reactions.

Attorney General Ken Paxton and Gov. Greg Abbott said they would appeal the ruling. And the federal-local battle over defunding "sanctuary cities" is still in its very early stages. Opponents of the law argued that it violated the US Constitution and would subject some minorities to discrimination. In a 17-page ruling, Yeakel wrote that the law leaves women and their physicians with abortion procedures that are, "more complex, risky, expensive, hard for many women to arrange, and often involve multi-day visits to physicians, and overnight hospital stays".