US Appeals Court Upholds Texas' Crackdown on 'Sanctuary Cities'

  • US Appeals Court Upholds Texas' Crackdown on 'Sanctuary Cities'

US Appeals Court Upholds Texas' Crackdown on 'Sanctuary Cities'

A panel of three USA 5th Circuit Court of Appeals judges ruled Tuesday that most of the state's immigration enforcement legislation, Senate Bill 4, can remain in effect while the case plays out, handing a victory to Gov.

A federal appeals court Tuesday upheld the bulk of Texas' crackdown on "sanctuary cities" in a victory for the Trump administration as part of its aggressive fight against measures seen as protecting immigrants who are in the us illegally.

The conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decided yesterday (Tuesday) that the bulk of Texas' anti-immigrant Senate Bill 4 can stay in place for now. A provision that would have made local officials subject to fines, jail time or even removal from office for "endorsing" policies that impede enforcement of immigration laws remains under injunction for the time being while the case remains in court.

Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the decision, saying in a statement: 'Enforcing immigration law prevents the release of individuals from custody who have been charged with serious crimes'.

President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have made cracking down on "sanctuary cities" a key focus of the administration. "I am calling on Congress to deliver a budget that protects our homeland and properly funds all of our law enforcement needs". The Justice Department recently filed a lawsuit against California, claiming the state is hindering federal enforcement of immigration laws.

In August 2017, Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia in San Antonio found the legislation was unlikely to withstand constitutional scrutiny and blocked sections of the law just days before it was to take effect.

The law, known as Senate Bill 4, calls for jail for police chiefs, sheriffs and possibly frontline officers who fail to cooperate over USA immigration.

The ruling was a blow to Texas' biggest cities -including Houston, Dallas and San Antonio - that sued previous year to prevent enforcement of what opponents said is now the toughest state-level immigration measure on the books in the U.S. The first step in an appeal would most likely be to request a review by the full Fifth Circuit court.

Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU´s Immigrants´ Rights Project and a lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said: 'We are exploring all legal options going forward'.