The government of Mexico stepped into the fight against the State of Texas’ new anti-sanctuary city law. Mexico filed an amicus brief in support of the several Texas cities and organizations bringing suit against the state seeking to overturn the SB4 legislation on constitutional grounds.
In a statement on Mexico’s official government website, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs misstates provisions of the Texas law signed by Governor Greg Abbott earlier this year. Secretary of Foreign Relations Luis Videgaray Caso wrote that the law “requires” police officers and other state officers to ask about the immigration status of anyone they stop. That statement is not correct.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas immediately after signing SB4 into law, Abbott explained “allowing” police officers to inquire about the immigration status of a person legally detained is one of the key differences between the Texas law and Arizona’s law that was previously challenged in the courts.
“The so-called controversial part of this law is what some label as the ‘show your papers’ component,” the Texas governor explained. “And what everyone seems to get wrong is they think that that provision was stricken down in the Arizona law. To the contrary, the provision in the Arizona law is stricter than the Texas law. The Arizona law required that law enforcement ASK for papers. The Texas law does not require it; it allows it.”
Federal Judge Orlando Garcia confirmed Abbott’s evaluation of the law in his temporary injunction. “In sum, SB 4 gives local officers discretion to inquire and share information,” the judge wrote.
Garcia’s ruling left in place, the provision allowing police officers to make inquiries about the immigration/citizenship status of individuals they legally detain, Breitbart Texas reported.
The cities of San Antonio, El Paso, Dallas, Austin, Houston, and the small Texas border city of El Cenizo have all sued the State of Texas. The Texas governor and attorney general are also named in the lawsuit. LULAC and El Cenizo were the first to file a lawsuit and did so days after the Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 4 into law.
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), LULAC, La Unión Del Pueblo Entero, the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE), and the Worker’s Defense Project (WDF) joined the cities in their effort to try to block the anti-sanctuary jurisdiction law.
In the statement obtained by Breitbart Texas, Secretary Videgaray wrote:
The purpose of the Amicus Curiae is to affirm the preliminary injunction blocking the implementation of Texas SB4 that require police and other state officers to ask about the immigration status of anyone they stop; as well as those that would require local law enforcement authorities to hold immigrants longer than would otherwise be the case to transfer them to federal authorities.
The secretary writes that the law could “undermine the rights of Mexicans that live or visit the state.”
In September, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit sided with the State of Texas on several provisions of the new law. The unanimous decision by the court allows the State of Texas to move forward with enforcing those provisions of the law including the duty of law enforcement agencies to detain illegal aliens wanted by immigration officials, Breitbart Texas reported.
“We are pleased today’s 5th Circuit ruling will allow Texas to strengthen public safety by implementing the key components of Senate Bill 4,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas following the appellate court’s ruling. “Enforcing immigration law helps prevent dangerous criminals from being released into Texas communities.”
Mexico told the court that an “escalating crackdown” on undocumented immigrants is creating “fear, panic, and uncertainty,” Bloomberg reported.
Videgaray concluded, “This [law] could undermine the rights of Mexicans that live or visit the state. Furthermore, it would have a negative impact in the relation(ship) with Texas, as well as hinder effective collaboration and trade between our country and that state.”
In June, the Trump Administration joined Texas in its fight to uphold the State’s ban on sanctuary cities.
A poll in Texas reveals that 58 percent of the State’s voters strongly support or somewhat support a requirement that local officials in Texas cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The poll also states that a majority of Texas voters believe that peace officers in the state should be able to ask residents about their immigration status.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, GAB, and Facebook.