Texas attorney general files motion to keep sanctuary cities law in place

AUSTIN (AP/KXAN) — Even though a federal judge temporarily blocked most of Texas’ new anti-sanctuary city law that was set to go into effect on Friday, Sept. 1, Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking a district court in San Antonio for a stay of motion on its ruling against Senate Bill 4.

Paxton hopes the court grants his stay while he appeals the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The federal judge’s ruling keeps it from taking effect.

SB 4 bans so-called sanctuary cities in Texas and requires local law enforcement to follow federal regulations regarding immigration. The law puts harsh penalties in place for communities that don’t comply with the new law, such as hefty fines, loss of funds and even removal from office.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia blocked SB4’s provision to require law enforcement to honor all ICE requests to hold people in jail who might be in the country illegally. However, he let stand a provision allowing officers to ask a person’s immigration status before they make an arrest. but officers would be limited in what they can do with that information.

“Senate Bill 4 is lawful, constitutional and similar to provisions of the state of Arizona’s law, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld,” said Marc Rylander, communications director for the Office of the Attorney General. “Sanctuary cities pose a threat to Texas communities by refusing to cooperate with federal immigration authorities and allowing criminal aliens back on our streets.”

Opponents call the measure, which sailed through the Republican-controlled Legislature, a “show me your papers” law.

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