BREAKING: Appeals Court Blunts SB4 Key Provisions

Certain portions of SB4 allowed to move forward but court cuts back on their effect

Note: this article updated throughout

We just received a decision from the Fifth Circuit on SB4. This was regarding the State of Texas’s request for an emergency stay on Judge Garcia’s injunction that blocked most of the law from going into effect.

It’s a mixed decision but encouraging for our efforts to implement local policies that reduce the damage of police acting as immigration agents.

Today’s ruling keeps blocked some key provisions of SB4 while blunting the effects of others. Though cities and counties cannot outright ban cooperation between police and immigration officials, cities and counties can implement policies limiting the negative effects of police involvement with deportations. They can do that by implementing policies and guidelines based on public safety priorities and constitutional concerns.

In a brief explanation of the ruling sent to Texas immigration advocates, Nina Perales of MALDEF said, “Bottom line: Certain portions of SB4 will go into effect but the court has cut back on their effect. Texas cannot punish cities and counties for limiting immigration questioning and limiting their officers from providing enforcement assistance to ICE.”

In August, Federal Judge Garcia blocked most of the law and the State of Texas appealed that ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the meantime, Texas asked the appeals court for an emergency ruling to halt the blocking of the law, essentially to allow the law to go into effect during the appeal.

We will give an update with specifics about the decision and how it may impact our communities as soon as we can.

Please note: this decision is just on the emergency request filed by the State of Texas. The case will continue. Texas’s appeal will be heard in full by the Fifth Circuit and that hearing will take place some time after November 6. MALDEF will represent all of the strength and ganas of the LUPE membership at that hearing.

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