While state and local governments in Texas were busy working together to rescue residents and respond to the widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, Texas’s cities won a huge victory over the state, reports Dara Lind.
On Wednesday night, a federal judge issued a ruling preventing most of Texas’s “anti-sanctuary-city” law SB4 from going into effect on Friday. The law was designed to force local police departments to help federal immigration enforcement in rounding up undocumented immigrants.
“The ruling doesn’t stop every part of the law that had local police officers concerned,” notes Lind. “But it does prevent the Republican-dominated Texas state legislature from using immigration to punish Texas’s Democratic-controlled city governments.”
The legal battle has pitted the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, against the governments of Texas’s major cities and immigrant-rights advocacy groups who challenged the law’s constitutionality.
The ruling suggests that Judge Orlando L. Garcia of the Western District of Texas will find those provisions currently on hold unconstitutional. The state has been stopped from enforcing them while he considers the law more fully.