‘Sanctuary Cities’ Law Returns To Federal Court

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelNovember 7, 2017 12:52 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Cruz says now is not the time for ‘gun control talk”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says now is not the time for a debate over gun control. The Republican was in Sutherland Springs Monday afternoon to visit with residents and law enforcement personnel in the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in state history.

Authorities have recovered three firearms belonging to the shooter – Devin Patrick Kelley. During a press conference, Cruz was asked whether he would consider or support new gun control measures in the wake of the shooting.

“It is an unfortunate thing that the immediate place the media goes after any tragedy, after any murder, is politicizing it,” Cruz said.  “We don’t need politics right now.”

Cruz also praised the neighbor who confronted Kelley and exchanged gunfire with him.

State of Texas defends new immigration enforcement law in court

Attorneys for the State of Texas are set to defend its new, controversial immigration law before the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday.

Opponents of the law, which is officially known as Senate Bill 4, include cities like Houston, San Antonio, and El Cenizo. They argue this so-called ban on “sanctuary cities” is discriminatory and violates the U.S. Constitution.

Texas Public Radio’s Ryan Poppe explains what’s at stake in this case.

This summer, a panel of U.S. District judges in San Antonio blocked some of SB 4’s key provisions from going into effect while the case was being tried in court. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton appealed that ruling to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar says he opposes the ban and at this point, isn’t afraid to speak out against the law.

 “I think as a local official I am a lot better equipped to determine what I need here locally and I think SB 4 throws a big wrench in that,” he said.

But Nina Perales, an attorney representing Bexar County, as well as the cities of San Antonio and El Paso, says it is these types of official statements that, if the law was allowed to go into effect, could result in public officials like Salazar being fined, jailed, and removed from office.

“Any local official, whether it’s a local sheriff or police chief or city councilmember or even a professor at a community college district could not speak out, criticizing SB 4 or speaking out in favor of doing immigration enforcement than what currently exists,” she said.

Marc Rylander, communication director for the AG’s Office says SB 4 is simply about creating uniformity across all local law enforcement groups when it comes to complying with federal immigration detainer requests.

 “Sanctuary cities cannot harbor these criminals and we in Texas will not allow city officials to ignore laws just because they don’t agree with them,” Rylander says.