Provisions of a law that bans sanctuary jurisdictions in Texas have been blocked by a federal judge here. If the judge had not taken this decision, this would have become law by the weekend. The law imposes fines on officials who fail to implement immigration-related regulations and requests for detention.
The ruling is temporary but it has served to draw battle lines between the Republicans in the State and those with pro-Democratic views. In effect, the law restricts cities from implementing policies that restrict immigration laws, allow law enforcement officials to question detainees about immigration status, and enforces severe punishment on officials who fail to implement the laws. A lawsuit has been filed against Texas to eliminate this law. Several of Texas' major cities, including Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas came together to file this lawsuit.
$25,500 fine via the SB4 bill
The bill that has been blocked now is known as the SB4 bill and it imposes a fine to the tune of $25,500 per day on government bodies when the law is violated. Law enforcement authorities and government officials alike would face civil penalties if they did not conform to immigration laws, according to the bill.
Gov. Greg Abbott talks about 'immediate appeal'
Reacting to the federal judge's block order on the bill, Governor Greg Abbott has said that an immediate appeal would be registered against the injunction. In his statement, Mr Abbott has said that the bill will safeguard against dangerous criminals and prevent them from posing any risk to the community. This is the reason he has put forth his opinion that the block should be appealed against.
Bill critics describe it as unconstitutional policy
Meanwhile, the critics of the bill are, understandably, happy with the Judge's order. They have categorically stated that the court decision is perfectly right. ACLU, in particular, has said that the bill would have increased discrimination and impaired the safety that different communities enjoy. Critics are also pointing out that the bill did not garner much support but its major critics include high-level law enforcement officials.
Director of the Texas Civil Rights project, Efrén C. Olivares, has said that the judge's order is just an affirmation that the critics have been right all along to oppose the bill. He said that the bill will increase the incidents of racial profiling against Texans.