LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
NEWSCAST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks SB4, Texas Law Targeting Sanctuary Cities

Protesters gather outside the federal courthouse in San Antonio in June to oppose SB 4, a new Texas law targeting "sanctuary cities."

Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled late Wednesday that Texas officials may not implement Senate Bill 4, a controversial measure designed to crack down on so-called "sanctuary cities" in that state.

The law, set to go into effect on September 1, would have given local law enforcement the authority to ask about a person's immigration status during routine interactions such as a traffic stop.

It also required local officials to comply with requests from federal immigration authorities to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Local law enforcement officials could be fined and removed from office if they did not cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Critics of the law said it would encourage racial profiling and violate the First and Fourth Amendments. The cities of San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and Austin had joined a lawsuit brought by the city of El Cenizo against SB 4, arguing that the law would undermine any cooperation between local police and immigrant communities in dealing with crime.

In his 94-page ruling, the judge said that there is overwhelming evidence from local officials, including local law enforcement, that SB 4 would "erode public trust and many communities less safe."

Gov. Greg Abbbott promised to appeal the ruling. Attorney General Ken Paxton echoed that call in a statement.

"Senate Bill 4 was passed by the Texas Legislature to set a statewide policy of cooperation with federal immigration authorities enforcing our nation's immigration laws. Texas has the sovereign authority and responsibility to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens. We're confident SB 4 will ultimately be upheld as constitutional and lawful," said Paxton.

In a statement, Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project praised Garcia's ruling.

"The court was right to strike down virtually all of this patently unconstitutional law. Senate Bill 4 would have led to rampant discrimination and made communities less safe. That's why police chiefs and mayors themselves were among its harshest critics — they recognized it would harm, not help, their communities," said Gelernt.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)
contact@kansaspublicradio.org