Judge blocks most of Texas’ ‘sanctuary cities’ law
AUSTIN, Texas — A federal judge late Wednesday temporarily blocked most of Texas’ tough new “sanctuary cities” law that would have allowed police to inquire about people’s immigration status during routine interactions such as traffic stops.
The measure, SB 4, sailed through the Republican-controlled Legislature despite months of protests and opposition from business groups who worried that it could cause a labor-force shortage in industries such as construction. Opponents sued, arguing it violated the U.S. Constitution, and U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia’s ruling in San Antonio keeps it from taking effect as planned Friday — allowing the case time to proceed.
In a 94-page ruling, Garcia wrote that there “is overwhelming evidence by local officials, including local law enforcement, that SB 4 will erode public trust and make many communities and neighborhoods less safe” and that “localities will suffer adverse economic consequences which, in turn, will harm the state of Texas.”
Garcia’s order suspends the law’s most contentious language while suggesting that even parts of the law that can go forward won’t withstand further legal challenges.