Trump Administration Signals Its Support For Senate Bill 4

This week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune.

By Alexandra HartJune 23, 2017 1:26 pm, , ,

It’s time to talk about the week that was in Texas politics. Texas Tribune reporter Julián Aguilar spoke with the Standard about what’s been going on across the state.

The Trump administration has weighed in on Texas’ sanctuary cities battle. On Friday, attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in the federal court case over Senate Bill 4.

“It’s a 54-page document that explains why they think Senate Bill 4 is constitutional [and] it doesn’t preempt a federal immigration rule,” Aguilar says. “They sort of lay out how why this law should stand.”

The bill allows local law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of people they legally detain or arrest and punishes local governments that refuse to honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement “detainer” requests.

Houston became the latest city to join the federal lawsuit against SB 4, joining other cities like Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and El Cenizo and El Paso and Maverick counties.

On Monday U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia will hear the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction to stop the law from taking effect on Sept. 1 as the case makes it way through the courts.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Attorney General Ken Paxton when it rejected a request by abortion providers to reject Paxton’s appeal seeking to restore a state rule requiring fetal tissue to be buried or cremated.

“Obviously the state’s Republican leadership sees [this] as a victory,” Aguilar says. “This is one of several controversial issues that will play out through the courts.”

State Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton) announced he plans to file two versions of a so-called “bathroom bill” that would restrict where transgender Texans can use the bathroom.

“I think it’s expected maybe a mild version and a more extreme version so they can get the ball rolling, have those discussion now so they can get ahead of the game in a 30-day short session which is going to be packed with issues,” Aguilar says.

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

Written by Molly Smith.