USA: “Sanctuary Cities” Gain a Legal Victory in the Immigration Battle
USA: “Sanctuary Cities” Gain a Legal Victory in the Immigration Battle


What are Sanctuary Cities?


It is a general term to describe 300+ local governments who limit their cooperation with federal immigration bureaucrats.

  • In his presidential campaign, Trump had scathing attacks on them
  • He accused local leaders that they were allowing dangerous immigrants to roam in their communities
  • The local communities countered him saying that immigration enforcement was a federal responsibility and not theirs and that they can’t be forced to assist as the U.S. Constitution prohibits such enforcements
  • Notwithstanding this, several GOP states have rallied around Trump, with Texas on the lead


The court’s rulings have been a beacon of light in the battle between the federal and the local governments, but it might still take a long time to resolve the ongoing battle.


Landmark Judgments:


The U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, on Wednesday, has barred the Texas government from enforcing major parts of a state law that would have required complete compliance by the cities with federal immigration enforcement practices. It’s to be noted that this law had strong support from Trump’s administration.


In April, another federal judge in California passed a ruling that limited the ability of the administration to withhold federal grants to local communities that didn’t cooperate with enforcement of immigration.


What the courts say:

  • Police officers have been allowed to question the immigration status of the suspects that they stop, and share it with federal immigration agents
  • They have also ruled against the larger push to hold sanctuary cities responsible for immigration
  • In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court took down portions of Arizona law that had targeted undocumented immigrants.
  • It also struck down another section that could have allowed the undocumented immigrants from being arrested without warrants.
  • On Wednesday, Judge Garcia took down some portions of Texas law which might have authorised the local police to detain suspected immigrants for up to 48 hours if the federal agents place them on a “detainer”.
  • To further limit such crackdowns, Judge Garcia also struck down parts of the law that could have imposed severe penalties including fines and jail time against the local politicians that implemented policies to limit the enforcement on immigrants.



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