Houston mayor tweets praise after judge blocks sanctuary city law

Demonstrators dressed as characters from The Handmaid's Tale at the Texas Capitol in May 2017 to protest SB8 a bill restricting abortions and fetal tissue donations

Senate Bill 4, which was set to take effect this Friday and would have allowed police officers to ask people about their immigration status during routine interactions like a traffic stop, was hailed by President Donald Trump's administration and the Department of Justice for its aggressive stance toward illegal immigration.

More than 400 jurisdictions across the USA, including New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Seattle, have enacted policies protecting undocumented immigrants.

Demonstrations had been scheduled in Austin for the end of the week and large groups of protesters agitated against the law, known as SB4, outside the federal courthouse in San Antonio in June, where Garcia heard from civil rights groups who argued that the measure violates the U.S. constitution's free speech and equal protection clauses and wrongfully inserts the state into a federal sphere.

It also required local officials to comply with requests from federal immigration authorities to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. They argue that in practice, many police officers are already asking people about their immigration status, so SB 4 doesn't change much.

"If for example, during a lawful stop an officer obtains information that the detained individual is undocumented, the officer may not arrest the individual or prolong the detention on this basis", Garcia wrote.

He also said in his 94-page ruling that the law would ultimately make the state less safe. The stay granted Wednesday is in effect while the lawsuit proceeds.

Demonstrators dressed as characters from
View Slideshow Demonstrators dressed as characters from"The Handmaid's Tale to protest SB8 at the Texas Capitol in May. Eric Gay AP

SB 4 protestors outside the federal courthouse in San Antonio. "If you are anxious about your immigration status or concerned that you might be arrested, it's important to meet with an experienced immigration lawyer to understand your options". "This is a big deal, so we wanted to come on really quick and update you", said Nirenberg. A person can not be held by local police for an indeterminate amount of time simply on suspicion that they're not in the country legally.

The injunction is only temporary and prevents the law from going into effect on September 1 while a lawsuit from various local governments and organizations moves forward against it. SB 4 was related to immigration enforcement by local governmental entities.

City officials praised the ruling. "That's why police chiefs and mayors themselves were among its harshest critics - they recognized it would harm, not help, their communities", said Gelernt.

"As Sheriff, I should be free to enforce the law and protect my community without fear of being unconstitutionally removed from office."

Texas Governor Greg Abbott spoke out against the ruling, "Today's decision makes Texas' communities less safe". SB 4 was written to outlaw that concept by prohibiting cities and counties from passing any law or ordinance that limit federal immigration enforcement. Texas officials have said they plan to fight the block. Officials with ICE and Bexar County have said that immigration officials now attach warrants to detainer requests, which they say brings them into compliance with Garcia's earlier ruling, although immigration lawyers have questioned whether that's the case. After the city of San Marcos voted last week to file an amicus brief in support of El Cenizo and the other litigants, state Rep. They were later joined by cities and counties across the state, including San Antonio.

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