Texas AG Vows to Defend Action Against Sanctuary Policies

August 31, 2017 Updated: August 31, 2017

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he will keep fighting for a law that bans sanctuary practices in the Lone Star state after a judge blocked it on Aug. 30.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia blocked Senate Bill 4 two days before it was set to come into effect, saying it was unconstitutional.

The bill would have overridden any sanctuary policies developed by local jurisdictions and enabled state and local law enforcement officers to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

It would also allow local law enforcement officers to ask the immigration status of an individual during an arrest or lawful detainment.

Paxton defended the bill, saying it was passed by the Texas legislature.

“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,” he said in a statement on Aug. 30.

Paxton also called for the court battle to be moved to Austin, the state’s seat of power.

The city of El Cenizo was joined by several counties and NGOs in the suit. They argued that the bill “generally upsets the careful balance Congress has struck between encouraging local assistance and preserving local discretion.”

But supporters of the bill argue that it enforces immigration law and “helps prevent dangerous criminals from being released into Texas communities.”

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