Tomorrow, Texas’ Senate Bill 4 is supposed to take effect. That’s the contentious “sanctuary cities” ban that would allow law enforcement officials to question people they arrest about their immigration status, as well as penalize agencies and officials that won’t cooperate with immigration detainer requests.
But now, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia has blocked parts of that law from going into effect.
“The provision that it most clearly stops is one that requires local jails to honor ICE detainers,” says Jason Buch, immigration reporter for the San Antonio Express-News. “(The law) had created a criminal penalty for local officials who don’t honor request by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold people in the jail while their immigration status can be investigated.”
Garcia had previously ruled in an unrelated case that holding someone in jail on an ICE detainer after their criminal charges had been dismissed was a violation of the 4th amendment. But yesterdays ruling is just a temporary injunction – the case is far from over.
“This is simply blocking the law from going into effect tomorrow when it would have taken effect, but he’s not making a final ruling on the constitutionality of this,” Buch says. “The state has said they’ll appeal the injunction, so more than likely this is going to the fifth circuit court of appeals in New Orleans.”