Department of Justice announces support for Texas in SB4 battle

Group protesting the SB 4 law on Monday, May 8, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)
Group protesting the SB 4 law on Monday, May 8, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)

WASHINGTON (KXAN) — The United States Department of Justice is siding with Texas in the battle over the now signed into law Senate Bill 4, the ban on sanctuary cities.

“President Trump has made a commitment to keep America safe and to ensure cooperation with federal immigration laws,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday. “Texas has admirably followed his lead by mandating state-wide cooperation with federal immigration laws that require the removal of illegal aliens who have committed crimes.”

“It’s reassuring to know that the Trump administration believes in upholding the Constitution and defending the rule of law, and I’m grateful for the DOJ’s assistance in helping my office defend the lawful Senate Bill 4,” Texas Attorney General Paxton said. “Enforcing immigration law helps prevent dangerous criminals from being released into our communities. We look forward to working with DOJ lawyers to see that Senate Bill 4 is fully honored in Texas.”

The law, set to begin on Sept. 1, requires local government and law enforcement to follow all federal immigration laws and detainer requests with the threat of criminal charges if the law is neglected. SB 4 would also require local jails to hold alleged criminals in the country illegally for possible deportation.

According to court documents, “the lawful cooperation by state and local authorities with federal immigration detainer requests, are of deep concern to the United States and present serious public safety and immigration enforcement issues.”

The DOJ’s statement of interest was filed on Friday, ahead of Monday’s federal court hearing regarding the law.

 

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