FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cesar Espinosa (English)
Alain Cisneros (Español)
SB4: 5TH CIRCUIT MAKES PARTIAL DECISION
[Houston, TX] On Monday September 25, 2017 the 5th circuit court of appeals made a partial decision on SB4 allowing Texas Emergency stay to move forward. The full 5th circuit panel will reconvene during the first week of November to access and argue the full law. FIEL Spokespeople are available for comment.
This is a brief analysis that we got from Maldef
Portions of SB4 that Remain blocked:
The speech ban in SB4 remains blocked. SB4 penalized local officials and employees who criticized immigration enforcement. That speech ban is enjoined and free speech is protected.
The court has continued to block language in SB4 that would punish cities and counties from having policies that “limit” immigration enforcement. This means that cities and counties can adopt policies that instruct officers and other employees that immigration enforcement must take a back seat to greater priorities, like protecting public safety. The Fifth Circuit accomplished this by keeping the injunction on the words “materially limit” in § 752.053(a)(1) and § 752.053(a)(2) of SB4.
Portions of SB4 that will go into Effect:
Limited portions of SB4 will go into effect.
On whether officers can provide enforcement assistance to federal agents, cities and counties cannot outright prohibit certain employees from providing enforcement assistance to federal authorities. However, the Fifth Circuit made clear that local jurisdictions can adopt limiting policies (the Fifth Circuit maintained the injunction on the “materially limit” language in both the immigration inquiry and immigration enforcement sections).
ICE Detainers in Jails: Although the Fifth Circuit allowed SB4 to require jails to comply with ICE detainers, the Fifth Circuit substantially pared back the obligation of jails. The Fifth Circuit explained: “The ‘comply with, honor, and fulfill’ requirement does not require detention pursuant to every ICE detainer request; rather, the ‘comply with, honor, and fulfill’ provision mandates that local agencies cooperate according to existing ICE detainer practice and law.” (at 6) Because ICE detainers are a matter of voluntary compliance under federal law, they will remain voluntary for local jails.
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.
"We hope that when the full panel convenes in November they will be able to analyze not only the law but the implications it will have on our communities. We hope that they do the right thing and strike down this law as unconstitutional. " Cesar Espinosa, FIEL Executive Director.
FIEL: Immigrant Families and Students in the Struggle is an organization that advocates for just laws for immigrant families,
access to higher education for all people regardless of immigration status and for the rights of all people in unjust situations.
|CESAR ESPINOSA Executive Director, FIEL HOUSTON INC|
Address: 6610 Harwin #214 Houston, TX 77036