AUSTIN, Texas — The Latest on a federal appeals court allowing more of a Texas ban on “sanctuary cities” backed by the Trump administration take effect: (all times local):
A Texas sheriff who had declined to honor some requests to detain immigrants in local jails says that her county now will comply with all such requests from federal authorities.
Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez said Monday that her policies had been updated to comply with the findings of a three-judge appeals court panel in New Orleans. Her spokeswoman, Kristen Dark, says that means jails, including those in the state capital city of Austin will honor all immigration detainers from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.
Hernandez is an elected Democrat who had announced on the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration that her jails would no longer comply with all detainer requests.
A Texas law cracking down on so-called sanctuary cities had been blocked by a lower court in August. But the appeals court panel ruled Monday that the state can compel local jails to comply with federal requests to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.
The key part of a federal appeals court ruling is that a Texas “sanctuary cities” law can require police to honor federal immigration detainers for now. But one attorney opposed to the law says the impact of the order may be limited.
The decision Monday by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals comes nearly a month after a lower judge blocked most of the law.
One of the main parts of the law requires Texas police and sheriffs to honor requests from federal immigration agents to hold people who are suspected of being in the country illegally and are in jail for reasons other than immigration. The law threatens police chiefs and sheriffs with jail time if they don’t comply.
Nina Perales is an attorney opposed to the law. She says her reading of the ruling isn’t that all detainer requests are now mandatory.
Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton hailed the decision as now letting the state “enforce the core” of the law.
A federal appeals court has given Texas more latitude to enforce a “sanctuary cities” ban backed by the Trump administration, but opponents suing over the immigration crackdown said it was unlikely to drastically change the status quo.
The decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans comes nearly a month after a lower judge blocked most of the law signed in May by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.