Sanctuary Cities Stand Their Ground Against Trump’s Immigration Threat
Small border cities straddling the United States-Mexico frontier have entered into a legal fight with state and federal officials over the enforcement of immigration laws at the national level.
Signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the highly contentious Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) reprimands local entities for refusing to cooperate or comply with federal immigration agents and their law enforcement requests.
As a part of the newly-enacted law's decrees, SB 4 dictates that elected officials and local police departments must hold undocumented immigrants suspected of having committed a crime.
Scheduled to take effect on September 1, the punitive measure has been a rallying cry for district attorneys, Justice Department lawyers, and organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), to stand up against the controversial legislation.
Mayor Raul Reyes of El Cenizo, Texas expressed his strong disapproval of the law stating, "It takes away local authority from elected official and police departments. We're ready for the challenge. We're ready to take this all the way to the Supreme Court, if need be."
While supporters of the governor's measure claim the law will put a stop to illegal immigrant criminality, opponents argue that the law is unconstitutional in the way it racially and ethnically profiles individuals.
President Donald Trump issued an immigration order in January that threatened to hold back federal funding from "sanctuary city" communities. His effort, however, was blocked by a San Francisco judge back in April.
Although local residents are worried about the city's ability to win the federal fight, preserving El Cenizo's immigration roots and way of life is Mayor Reyes' ultimate goal. "This will determine the future of our country and how other states target minority groups."