An appellate court dealt a blow to sanctuary cities in Texas, putting the state’s Senate Bill 4 into effect immediately.
The unanimous order by a three-judge panel overruled U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia’s decision blocking the law.
“We find irreparable injury to Texas … denying the public interest in the enforcement of its laws,” the Fifth Circuit judges said of Garcia’s injunction.
At the urging of several self-declared sanctuary cities and illegal-immigrant advocates, Garcia granted an injunction against SB4, which requires local law enforcement agencies to “comply with, honor, and fulfill” immigration detainers requested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The appellate panel overruled the San Antonio judge, adding the proviso that local and state agencies need not comply when a detainee provides proof of lawful immigration status.
“The ‘comply with, honor, and fulfill’ provision mandates that local agencies cooperate according to existing ICE detainer practice and law,” the Fifth Circuit judges stated.
FAIR said Texas was right to fight for SB4, considered the most sweeping anti-sanctuary measure in the country. The law imposes civil penalties on local officials who fail to comply.
While sanctuary proponents continue to contest SB4 in the courts, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said, “Enforcing immigration law helps prevent dangerous criminals from being released into our communities. I am confident Senate Bill 4 will be found constitutional and ultimately upheld.”