WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal court ruling Tuesday allows Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) to take effect while legal challenges continue. The bill bans so-called sanctuary jurisdictions and penalizes local authorities who fail to honor federal immigration requests.
A federal appeals court reversed an earlier ruling that blocked the enforcement of SB 4, upholding one of the toughest immigration measures at the state level. The law requires local police chiefs and sheriffs to honor federal immigration detainers, bars local communities from adopting certain policies aimed at building community trust, and permits police to question the immigration status of anyone they arrest or detain.
The move has serious implications for local law enforcement, interfering with their ability to build trust and safety in their communities and requiring them to dedicate scarce resources to federal immigration responsibilities.
“With SB 4 taking effect, local law enforcement now must implement a law that turns federal responsibilities into a local burden,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “Texas police chiefs and sheriffs will now be forced to dedicate valuable time and resources to doing the federal government’s job instead of pursing real public safety threats. In no way does this make Texans safer.”