Appeals Court Allows Part of Anti-Sanctuary City Texas Law

On Monday, a mixed decision was issued by a US appeals court about a Texas law aimed at punishing so-called ‘sanctuary cities’. It gave the go-ahead to a section of the law that forces localities to honor requests from federal immigration authorities to perform checks on the immigration status of detainees but blocked many other aspects of the law.

The law, which has the backing of the Republican Party, is the first of its type since Donald Trump assumed the Presidency in January, with promises of cracking down on undocumented immigrants and the communities that shield them. Texas has the biggest border with Mexico in the country, with policies often having an impact on other states that are under Republican control.

San Antonio Chief US District Judge, Orlando Garcia, found in late August that the legislation would likely not withstand constitutional scrutiny, and ruled to block some sections of the law days before it went into effect. Although the case is still on appeal, a section of the law that requires law enforcement agencies to comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on immigration detainer requests has been approved by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals’ three-judge panel as of Monday.

The block imposed by Garcia on some aspects of the law, which called for prison sentences and fines for local officials who refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities, was left in place.