The judge's ruling temporarily blocks part of the law that would require local law enforcement agencies in Texas to fulfill requests by us immigration agents to hold immigrants in their jails until they can be picked up for deportation.
The bill also allows police officers to question anybody they detain, forces local law enforcement to cooperate with detainer requests from federal immigration officials and threatens fines, imprisonment and removal from office on any state, county or city official who interferes with the enforcement of the state law. Additionally, the law would make it mandatory for local law enforcement to comply with all ICE detainers, which are requests to hold people in jail for up to 48 hours after they would have otherwise been released, so that they may be questioned or picked up by ICE if their immigration status is in question. Texas cannot-through state law-expand the "limited circumstances" in which local enforcement officials may perform the functions of immigraiton officers.Federal immigration law involves significant complexities, one of which is the determination of removability.
Garcia said in the ruling that there is "overwhelming evidence" to support that view, in addition to ample evidence that parts of the state would suffer adverse economic consequences if the law were to take effect.
The law was supposed to go into effect September 1. Among his findings, Garcia wrote that SB 4 indeed violates due process and creates a "real danger of arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement", and violates the First Amendment.
"We are so grateful to have courts who protect our rights and freedoms, and keep overzealous legislators in check", said Michelle Tremillo, executive director of the Texas Organizing Education Fund, one of the plaintiffs. That happened, they argued, when the high court ruled in 2012 to let part of Arizona's controversial Senate bill 1070 stand, including the part that allows officers to ask a person's immigration status if they have a reasonable suspicion to believe the person was in the country illegally.
Attorney General Paxton asked to have the lawsuits against SB 4 consolidated and moved from U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia's court in San Antonio to Austin, "where the people's representatives passed SB 4", he said. This judgment assures our neighbors in the immigrant community to feel empowered to come out of the dark shadows that have clouded their relationship with local law enforcement.
The new Texas law uses the non-medical term "dismemberment abortion" to describe a procedure in which forceps and other instruments are used to remove the fetus from the womb.
Greg Abbott, who signed the bill in May, said the judge's preliminary injunction would be appealed "immediately", and he is confident that the law will be upheld as constitutional. Cities such as San Antonio, Houston and El Paso then joined. Supreme Court precedent for laws similar to Texas' law are firmly on our side. Saenz added that according to the judge's ruling, a lawful stop can not be prolonged just to make an immigration inquiry, which is part of what made the Arizona statute ineffective.
The cities and advocacy groups that sued over SB 4, however, don't see this as a huge setback.