SB4 – Blocked — For Now?

On Wednesday, a Federal Judge in San Antonio blocked the new law from going into effect on Friday.  This law prohibits cities and counties from adopting policies that would limit immigration enforcement – essentially blocking ‘Sanctuary Cities.’  While this a temporary ruling, this will still halt the law from being enforced until the suit filed against it goes forward.  Texas has already stated that it would appeal this decision.

The biggest cities in Texas –Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas – have joined a lawsuit against Texas to strike down this law completely.

The Federal Judge – Judge Garcia – has blocked three of the provisions of this law; one of which stated that the local governments would not be able to ‘adopt, enforce, or endorse’ any policies that could interfere with the enforcement of immigration laws – on the basis that this violates the First Amendment.

Texas plans to appeal this decision setting the matter to be heard by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans which one of the country’s most conservative appeals panels.

One of the law’s more concerning provisions is that Police officers can ask about the immigration status of those they detain or arrest.  This provision was upheld by Judge Garcia, though he blocked the provision that required localities to comply with immigration detainment requests from ICE.  Judge Garcia states this this provision by not allowing the local officials from declining a detainer request, it is also stopping the officials from questioning if there is a probable cause for the requested detainer.

One of the concerns of this law is that this could open the door to racial profiling and prevent immigrants – illegal and legal – from reporting crimes to police.

The provision that was upheld by Judge Garcia, is concerning to many illegals as it would allow law enforcement officials to ask for status documents, but with the provision on blocking Sanctuary Cities being stopped, though temporarily, does at least provide a small reprieve to an otherwise worrisome situation.