South Texas Officials Fighting 'Sanctuary Cities' Ban

Posted May 10, 2017

The term "sanctuary cities" has no legal definition, but Republicans want local police to help federal immigration agents crack down on criminal suspects in the USA illegally.

Abbott on Sunday, May 7, 2017, signed a so-called "sanctuary cities" ban that lets police ask during routine stops whether someone is in the US legally and threatens sheriffs with jail if they don't cooperate with federal immigration agents.

"The use by the state of city and county resources for federal immigration enforcement breeds distrust of local government and officials, who have no power to change federal laws, and can also wrench apart family and community structures", said the lawsuit.

Hernandez has been in a standoff with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott over the legality of sanctuary cities, which are communities that don't entirely comply with federal immigration law.

"[The law] is constitutional, lawful and a vital step in securing our borders", Paxton said in a statement. Hundreds of sanctuary cities and counties across the nation have come under scrutiny in recent months because they do not enforce all federal immigration laws.

One provision under the law that takes effect September 1, allows local and state law enforcement officers to ask people they stop to prove they are in the US legally. The law makes it illegal for cities, counties and universities to prevent their law enforcement officers from questioning anyone who is legally detained about their immigration status or enforcing immigration law.

"Texas has now banned sanctuary cities in the Lone Star state", Abbott said after signing the bill and holding it in front of the camera.

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A misdemeanor charge was established for sheriffs, police chiefs, and constables who violate the law.

"If they don't have any ID on them, if they don't know who they are, they may ask that question", Waybourn says.

"We plan to fight this racist and wrong-headed law in the courts and in the streets", said Texas ACLU director Terri Burke.

The law doesn't go into effect until September 1, but before then, the American Civil Liberties Union has vowed to fight it in court.

Between 2008 and 2012, the ACLU said, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement requested local jails to hold 834 US citizens, including some who spent additional days in jail because of the error. Paxton released a statement adding that he hopes the court will uphold the constitutionality of the law. Monday morning the police chief there announced his department will no longer prohibit San Antonio officers from asking about a person's immigration status.

"I think the fact that they had to do it under the cover of darkness with no warning on a Sunday night giving you a feeling about the way the people of Texas feel about this stupid law", Jenkins said. The ACLU has vowed to oppose the law in court.