Appeals Court Upholds State "Show Me Your Papers" Law

14 March, 2018, 06:05 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Appeals Court Upholds State “Show Me Your Papers” Law

The Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton, and Gov. Greg Abbott praised the decision in statements on Tuesday.

The measure proposes to prohibit local authorities from limiting their cooperation with federal immigration agencies and calls on local police to respond promptly to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests.

A three-judge panel in New Oreans' 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Texas' current immigration enforcement laws are constitutional.

Mr. Gelernt, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Project, said his organization would also be monitoring how the law was carried out. It set off racially-charged debates, backlash from big-city police chiefs and rebuke from the government in Mexico, which is Texas' largest trading partner and shares close ties to the state.

Plaintiffs including the cities of Houston, Dallas and Austin said the provision would allow the state to remove duly elected officials if they criticized the measure, a violation of constitutional free-speech protections.

In August, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia halted several parts of the bill, including the provision that requires jail officials to honor the detainer provision.

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But he did not halt the part of the bill that says police chiefs, sheriffs and other department heads can not forbid officers from questioning a person's immigration status, which means that Texas has been what opponents of the measure call a "papers please" state since the law took effect. The panel also stated that law enforcement officers, including campus police, with "authority that may impact immigration" can not be prevented from assisting federal immigration officers.

U.S. Circuit Judge Edith Jones wrote in the court's opinion that the Arizona law - which was partially blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court - was more "problematic" because it mandated the questions during traffic stops.

After Tuesday's ruling was announced, Abbott updated his followers on Twitter, highlighting that claims the bill would lead to racial profiling were rejected.

Texas got permission from a federal appeals court to enforce much, but not all, of its controversial sanctuary-city ban.

Lawyers for Texas said the law helped ensure conformity across the state on the application of immigration law and prevented localities from adopting positions of non-cooperation with federal authorities.

Police chiefs across Texas said the law will create a chilling effect that will cause immigrant families to not report crimes or come forward as witnesses over fears that talking to local police could lead to deportation.


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