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Is it the right of a city to manage it's police force? Photo courtesy: Wikimedia.
Is it the right of a city to manage it's police force? Photo courtesy: Wikimedia.

Will Texas sanctuary cities ban pass the test?

Texas ban on sanctuary cities is already being challenged in and out of the state.

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In a full analysis by the Washington Post, the legality of the Texas ban is being analyzed.

The bill that led the New Jersey capitol to end in commotion not only from politicians but protesters alike, Texas Senate Bill 4 - placing a ban on sanctuary cities - may not be legal. 

The ban is set to take effect Sept. 1, going as far to allow local officials to be charged with a misdemeanor if they knowingly refuse to hand over immigrants that the federal government asks for.

But some provisions, including the one above, are perfectly legal in the federal realm. According to the New York Times, federal law allows deportation requests to be ignored (a crime under state law).

In addition to that, President Donald Trump's effort to enforce a ban on sanctuary cities b withholding federal funding was ruled by a federal judge as unconstitutional. The Trump administration quickly retaliated with a new memo from Attorney General Jeff Sessions defining sanctuary cities and the types of funding that could be limited.

Legal challenges have come from some Texas cities who say that the state law cannot trump federal law in this case.  

The Washington Post interviewed George Mason University constitutional law professor Ilya Somin, who told the publication there's nothing in the federal Constitution that prevents states from coercing their municipalities.

A Texas border town, El Cenizo, was one of the first municpalities to react to the bill, initiating a law suity that alleges that the ban limits its officers' rights to do their job. The town of 3,300 has a regulation preventing local law enforcement from handing over some illegal immigrants to the federal government.

And these aren't the only legal challenges that could affect the bill. A U.S. citizen in Illinois sued the government for holding him in jail without probable cause other than a deportation request. An Illinois federal court ended up deciding last year that the federal government can't make a local government hold someone longer than they otherwise would without a warrant. Holding someone without a warrant violates that person's rights under the Fourth Amendment - those of illegal search and seizure. 

It is unclear yet whether the current legal challenges will halt the bill taking effect in September.

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