Department of Justice Sides With Texas on ‘sanctuary Cities' Lawsuit

The Department of Justice on Friday sided with Texas in the lawsuit against its recently passed sanctuary cities ban, lending significant if not unsurprising support to boosters of the law.The department's decision to back a state in a high-profile case on a hawkish immigration issue is a reversal from its operation under President Barack Obama's administration, which often sided with civil rights groups that opposed such state laws."The Department of Justice fully supports Texas's effort and is participating in this lawsuit because of the strong federal interest in facilitating the state and local cooperation that is critical in enforcing our nation's immigration laws," U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a prepared statement."President Trump has made a commitment to keep America safe and to ensure cooperation with federal immigration laws," he said. "Texas has admirably followed his lead by mandating state-wide cooperation with federal immigration laws that require the removal of illegal aliens who have committed crimes."Texas' law allows police officers to ask a person about their immigration status during any legal detention, including routine traffic stops. It also prevents cities, counties and universities from prohibiting their law enforcement officers from asking about immigration status. If a local law enforcement official tried to prevent his officers from doing so, he could be removed from office and thrown in jail. Jurisdictions could face fines of up to $25,000 a day for each day they violate the ban. 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. Furthermore, they argued, the law is unconstitutional because issues like immigration were reserved for the federal government, not the states. In its filing on Friday to the federal district court in San Antonio handling the lawsuit, the department argued against the plaintiff's complaints that the sanctuary cities ban, also known as Senate Bill 4, violated the Fourth and Tenth Amendments. The department also argued that the law does not violate the Constitution's Supremacy Clause, which reserves issues like the enforcement of immigration law for the federal government.   Continue reading...

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