The Texas Office of the Attorney General today presented oral arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit for a stay of a district court order that blocked Senate Bill 4 from taking effect on September 1. The Legislature passed the measure earlier this year to set a statewide policy of cooperation with federal immigration authorities enforcing the nation’s immigration laws.
“We delivered a strong case for allowing Senate Bill 4 to take effect, pending our appeal, because of the far-reaching public safety consequences of the lower court’s order,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said. “Enforcing immigration law helps prevent dangerous criminals from being released into Texas communities. Supreme Court precedent for measures similar to Texas’ law make clear that Senate Bill 4 is entirely consistent with the cooperative system of government that the Constitution created.”
Despite a preliminary injunction hearing on June 26, the district court in San Antonio waited over two months before it enjoined Senate Bill 4 on August 30 – just two days before it was scheduled to take effect.
Senate Bill 4 affirms the right and duty of law enforcement agencies throughout Texas to detain individuals pursuant to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement federal detainer program.
Previously, the 5th Circuit set hearings on the merits of the attorney general’s appeal for the week of November 6. The appeal at issue today requests that a different panel of the Fifth Circuit stay the lower court preliminary injunction until the November panel decides the merits of the appeal.