Attorney General Ken Paxton today praised a ruling by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit that upholds all but application of one word of Senate Bill 4, a common-sense measure that bans sanctuary cities in Texas. The Legislature enacted the law last year to set a statewide policy of cooperation with federal immigration authorities enforcing the nation’s immigration laws.
“I’m pleased the 5th Circuit recognized that Senate Bill 4 is lawful, constitutional and protects the safety of law enforcement officers and all Texans,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Enforcing immigration law prevents the release of individuals from custody who have been charged with serious crimes. Dangerous criminals shouldn’t be allowed back into our communities to possibly commit more crimes.”
In its decision, the 5th Circuit said “With one exception, SB 4’s provisions do not, on their face, violate the Constitution. For the following reasons, we uphold the statute in its entirety except for the application of the “endorsement” prohibition, Tex. Gov’t Code § 752.053(a)(1), to elected officials.”
A U.S. District Court in San Antonio granted a preliminary injunction of Senate Bill 4 on August 30, just two days before it was scheduled to take effect. On September 25, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit ruled that Texas could enforce key provisions of Senate Bill 4 while it appealed the lower court ruling. On November 7, the attorney general’s office presented its oral argument before a panel of the 5th Circuit in defense of Senate Bill 4. The Attorney General’s office is the key enforcement agency for SB 4 and is accepting complaints regarding entities that violate the law.