Attorney General Ken Paxton praised the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals for its unanimous decision to allow Texas to enforce core provisions of Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB4), a law designed to crack down on so-called “sanctuary” cities—a label that comes from their refusal to cooperate with the deportation efforts of the federal government.
District Judge Orlando Garcia of Del Rio, Texas had ruled on August 31—a day before SB4 was to be implemented—to block the state’s attempt to ban sanctuary cities. While Texas appeals this lower court ruling, the 5th Circuit affirms the state’s right to detain individuals based on the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer program.
Several of SB4’s provisions are designed to force local departments and law enforcement agencies to cooperate with the feds in their crackdown on undocumented immigrants. The law forbids all local law enforcement officials, including police chiefs, sheriffs, and even campus police, to prevent immigration officers from inquiring about a person’s immigration status. The law also penalizes jurisdictions that refuse to comply with federal immigration detainers—requiring law enforcement agencies to detain individuals without local criminal charges for deportation.