Controversial Texas immigration bill temporarily blocked

A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked key provisions of a law that bans sanctuary jurisdictions in the US state, the media reported.

A sanctuary city is a broad term applied to jurisdictions with policies in place to limit cooperation or involvement with federal immigration actions, reports CNN.

Many US cities, counties and some states have a myriad of informal policies and laws that qualify as “sanctuary” positions.

In a 94-page decision, US District Judge Orlando Garcia said : “There is overwhelming evidence by local officials, including local law enforcement, that (the bill) SB4 will erode public trust and make many communities and neighborhoods less safe.”

“There is also ample evidence that localities will suffer adverse economic consequences which, in turn, harm the State of Texas.”

He said the court could not “second guess the legislature” but the state could not violate the constitution.

The law was slated to go into effect on Friday.

The bill established civil penalties for local government and law enforcement officials who did not comply with immigration laws and detention requests.

Additionally, under the law, government entities would be fined $25,500 for every day the law was violated.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who signed the bill in May, on Wednesday night said the judge’s preliminary injunction would be appealed “immediately”, and was confident that the law will be upheld as constitutional, reports CNN.

“Today’s decision makes Texas’ communities less safe,” Abbott said, adding “Because of this ruling, gang members and dangerous criminals, like those who have been released by the Travis County Sheriff, will be set free to prey upon our communities.”

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