Well, so much for the rule of law.
A federal district judge in San Antonio ruled that local agencies in Texas need not cooperate with federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws.
Judge Orlando Garcia barred the state from implementing Senate Bill 4, which would require local law-enforcement agents to comply with “detainers” federal authorities place on inmates suspected of illegal immigration.
Garcia, a former Democrat state legislator appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton, blocked the law from taking effect Friday. The decision was a blow to Texas’ effort to rein in so-called sanctuary cities that flout immigration laws, and sets up a new round of legal wrangling.
While sanctuary city officials, the American Civil Liberties Union and immigrant-rights groups applauded the ruling, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said it makes the Lone Star State less safe by hobbling enforcement of immigration law. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said his office would appeal the decision.
Texas is right to fight.
Communication and cooperation by state and local law enforcement with federal officials is essential to combating the negative effects of illegal immigration, including crimes committed by released illegals. State and local law enforcement act as force multipliers, increasing the eyes and ears of federal immigration agents in their jurisdictions.
Bottom line: Sanctuary policies place greater emphasis on the interests and welfare of criminal aliens than the rights of citizens and legal residents to safe and secure communities.
Judge Garcia’s 94-page ruling enables continued reckless behavior by sanctuary cities even as the Texas Tribune reports that a “deliberate disconnect between local authorities and ICE ranks as one of the major ways immigrants slip through the hands of law enforcement.”
Austin, one of the cities that sued to overturn SB 4, has become an epicenter for lawless “law enforcement.”
Noting that Travis County (Austin) denied 204 ICE jail detainer requests earlier this year, Abbott countered Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s claim that it’s “compassionate” to ignore federal law enforcement and let illegals walk.
Forty-four of the denied requests were for inmates initially detained by Homeland Security and temporarily transferred to the Travis lockup for disposition of state or local charges, according to records obtained by Judicial Watch.
State and local law enforcement are often on the front lines in dealing with transnational gang activity, human trafficking, smuggling, drug-related offenses and other serious crimes frequently tied to illegal immigration. When local authorities fail to cooperate with federal immigration officials, criminal aliens re-enter communities and engage in further criminal activity at the expense and safety of citizens and lawful aliens.
Judge Garcia is fine with the extra-legal revolving door. Law-abiding Texans are not. Stay tuned.