The state of Texas recently passed a new law meant to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. This Texas law came in the wake of increasing numbers of large urban areas across America becoming “sanctuary cities” based on their refusal to comply with federal immigration law. However, earlier this week, U.S. District Court Judge Orlando Garcia issued a preliminary injunction preventing implementation of the new Texas law.
The law, SB 4, gives local Texas police the authority to inquire into a person’s immigration status during routine traffic stops and holds police chiefs accountable should they fail to enforce federal immigration laws.
In his option, Judge Garcia held that SB 4 ran afoul of other federal laws, a position that’s disputed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. In a written statement by AG Paxton, he said, “Texas has the sovereign authority and responsibility to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens. We’re confident SB 4 will ultimately be upheld as constitutional and lawful.”
The Justice Department has yet to issue a formal opinion on the merits of Judge Garcia’s ruling, but Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley supported the Texas measure in a written statement, saying:
“The Texas legislature should be commended for finding ways to increase cooperation with federal immigration authorities. When jurisdiction work to keep criminal aliens off their streets, it shows a commitment to the rule of law and to reducing violent crime, including violent crime stemming from illegal immigration.”
Texas Democrats are touting this temporary court ruling as a victory, however. As of now, the state of Texas has yet to appeal the decision, but such an appeal is probable.