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Texas To Seek Court Approval To Begin Full Enforcement Of SB4

“(Senate Bill) 4 is wholly valid,” the state writes in its appeal. A court of appeals will decide whether to allow the state to enforce the law while it awaits a full hearing later this year.

Young women dressed as Quinceaneras perform and protest SB4, an anti-"sanctuary cities" bill, at the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, July 19, 2017. The "sanctuary cities" ban, signed in May, lets police ask people during routine stops whether they're in the U.S. legally.
Young women dressed as Quinceaneras perform and protest SB4, an anti-“sanctuary cities” bill, at the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, July 19, 2017. The “sanctuary cities” ban, signed in May, lets police ask people during routine stops whether they’re in the U.S. legally.

Portions of a controversial immigration law could go into effect should a panel of federal judges rule with the state of Texas.

On Friday, the state will ask the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to allow it to begin enforcing provisions of Senate Bill 4 that were placed on hold days before the law went into effect on Sept. 1, according to the Texas Tribune.

“As passed, SB 4 allows local law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of people they detain or arrest and seeks to punish local government department heads and elected officials who don’t cooperate with federal immigration “detainers” — requests by agents to turn over immigrants subject to possible deportation. Punishment could come in the form of jail time and penalties that exceed $25,000.

(U.S. District Judge Orlando) Garcia also halted the part of the bill that required jail officials to honor all detainers, and another that prohibits “a pattern or practice that ‘materially limits’ the enforcement of immigration laws.”

“SB4 is wholly valid,” the state wrote in its appeal for a stay of the lower court’s ruling, “and the State has every right to prohibit its own localities from having sanctuary-city policies. Moreover, the Order even threatens existing and legitimate local voluntary cooperation with the federal government’s enforcement of immigration law.”

The state is asking the court to allow it to stay Garcia’s ruling pending appeal of the preliminary injunction or a final ruling on SB4, according to its legal filing.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) announced this week it would present an oral argument challenging the state in the hearing set for Friday morning in New Orleans.

“Despite a partial injunction of the bill, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has inhumanely pushed for full implementation of the law that would terrorize Texas immigrants and citizens alike by turning traffic stops into immigration interrogations, and furthering the AG’s white supremacist agenda to force the separation of Texas families of color,” according to a MALDEF news release.

The case is City of El Cenizo, Texas, et al v. State of Texas, et. al. The city of Houston is a plaintiff in the case.

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