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Federal District Judge in Texas Temporarily Blocks Immigration Enforcement Law

On August 30, 2017, a federal district judge ruled against the state of Texas that halted an immigration enforcement law.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia issued a preliminary injunction against Texas Governor Greg Abbot’s legislation that outlaws “sanctuary cities”.

A “sanctuary city” is a city that limits local police enforcement of national immigration laws.

The legislation would have:

  • allowed local law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of people they detain or arrest
  • punished local government department heads and elected officials who don’t cooperate with federal immigration “detainers”
  • requested that agents should turn over immigrants subject to possible deportation

One controversial part of the law that Judge Garcia did let stand was allowing police officers to question the immigration status of people they arrest and detain.

However, Garcia halted the part of the legislation that allowed police officers to act upon the immigration status information they may obtain during an arrest.

Opponents of the legislation include:

  • The City of Houston
  • The City of Austin
  • The City of San Antonio
  • The City of El Cenzio
  • Maverick County
  • El Paso County
  • Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

The opponents argue that the legislation violates the Constitution.

The bill was scheduled to go into effect September 1, 2017, but is on hold until a permanent decision is made or the injunction is appealed.