Federal Judge Dismissed Attorney General Ken Paxton's "Sanctuary Cities" Lawsuit


Yesterday the U.S. District Court in Austin rejected the State of Texas's extraordinary attempt to have SB 4, the law banning so-called sanctuary cities, declared constitutional before it takes effect.

According to the Austin American Statesman, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against the City of Austin and Travis County.

Senate Bill 4 affirms the right and duty of law enforcement agencies throughout Texas to detain individuals pursuant to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) federal detainer program.

The Republican-backed law is the first of its kind since Republican Donald Trump became president in January, promising a crackdown on illegal immigrants and localities that protect them.

A MALDEF spokesperson called the law "hateful" and "misguided", arguing the city's "loss of control" over its police department would result in residents being asked about their immigration status, which MALDEF says violates the 14th Amendment.

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This is a developing story.

"U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia presides over the cities" lawsuit. It will take effect September 1 unless a judge in a separate case out of San Antonio intervenes.

The fate of the law now likely rests with a separate San Antonio court that's deciding whether or not to block the measure. "The health, safety, and welfare of Texans is not negotiable".

In the federal case in San Antonio, a small border town and some of the largest Texas cities told a judge in June that SB 4 could lead to an immigration police state and establish illegal racial profiling. The program enforces immigration law and helps prevent unsafe criminals from being released into Texas communities. "That is a healthy and appropriate debate, and it should be decided in [state] legislatures and Congress. The Texas Civil Rights Project continues its fight against SB 4 and will not allow state officials to move their anti-immigrant agenda forward unchallenged", Olivares said. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.