AUSTIN – On March 13, Attorney General Ken Paxton praised a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upholding all but application of one word of Senate Bill 4, a measure that bans sanctuary cities in Texas.
The Legislature enacted the law earlier this year to set a statewide policy of cooperation with federal immigration authorities enforcing the nation’s immigration laws.
“I’m pleased the 5th Circuit recognized that Senate Bill 4 is lawful, constitutional and protects the safety of law enforcement officers and all Texans,” Paxton said. “Enforcing immigration law prevents the release of individuals from custody who have been charged with serious crimes. Dangerous criminals shouldn’t be allowed back into our communities to possibly commit more crimes.”
In its decision, the 5th Circuit said: “With one exception, SB 4’s provisions do not, on their face, violate the Constitution. For the following reasons, we uphold the statute in its entirety except for the application of the “endorsement” prohibition … to elected officials.”
A U.S. District Court in San Antonio granted a preliminary injunction of SB 4 on Aug. 30, just two days before it was scheduled to take effect.
On Sept. 25, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit ruled that Texas could enforce key provisions of the bill while it appealed the lower court ruling.
On Nov. 7, the attorney general’s office presented its oral argument before a panel of the 5th Circuit in defense of SB 4.
The Attorney General’s office is the key enforcement agency for SB 4 and is accepting complaints regarding entities that violate the law.
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