Federal government backs Texas in lawsuit over sanctuary cities law

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"Parties may disagree with the state legislature's policy determinations in enacting SB 4, but nothing in federal immigration law precludes a state from directing law enforcement officers in the state to cooperate with the federal government, rather than merely permitting them to do so", the brief reads.

On Friday, The Trump administration filed court papers to support the Texas state law and is seeking to argue in court hearings in favor of the legislation it says will help keep America safe. Democratic state Rep. Ana Hernandez, who did not become a USA citizen until she was 18 years old, wiped away tears on the witness stand as she recalled Republican colleagues referring to people who are not citizens as "illegals" during debate over SB4.

The first hearing in the lawsuit is set for 9:30 a.m. Monday at the federal court in San Antonio.

More than 100 protesters rallied against the law outside the court.

"Texas must know what they're doing", said Lee Gelernt, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. Greg Abbott in May, requires jurisdictions to honor all requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain suspected undocumented immigrants and allows local law enforcement officials to question a person's immigration status during a routine stop. "Enforcing immigration law helps prevent risky criminals from being released into our communities".

Several federal judges have ruled in recent years that holding someone on an ICE detainer in a local jail if they would otherwise be allowed to go free violates the Fourth Amendment's guarantees against illegal search and seizure.

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Some cities in Texas say the law, if upheld, could prompt sports organizations and others to boycott the state, similar to the effect of a controversial bathroom bill in North Carolina.

Plaintiffs in the court case include El Paso County, a sheriff who is a former Border Patrol agent, and the cities of Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. She later said she would follow any law that passed. On Jan. 25, days after he took office, he issued an executive order vowing to strip federal funding from those that refuse to enforce immigration law.

The Trump administration has officially entered the courtroom battle over Senate Bill 4, Texas' immigration-enforcement bill.

Opponents of the law argued that it would lead to racial profiling of Latinos and that it unconstitutionally threatened to remove local officials and, in some cases, throw them in jail.

Trump campaigned against sanctuary cities and on January 25 issued an executive order to punish them.

Immigrants United spoke about the effects of this fight here in Texas.

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