A new law in Texas that aims to outlaw sanctuary cities has made headlines for being one of the toughest pieces of legislation against illegal immigration in the nation.
However, laws targeting undocumented immigrants have been introduced in more than 30 cities since the Trump administration took over.
A report in New American revealed at least 33 states adopted tougher immigration laws since Donald Trump’s inauguration.
The legislation reflects the Trump administration’s uncompromising stance on immigration which is stricter than that of his predecessor Barack Obama.
New American reported on how many U.S. states are keen to join the battle by passing laws requiring their cities and towns to cooperate with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. Policies in which cities and towns defy federal immigration authorities are consistent with sanctuary cities.
In a report in May, the Migration Policy Institute noted Texas is leading the way with laws intended to target illegal immigration. The bill signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott is slated to come into effect on Sept. 1, although it is facing legal challenges.
Jurisdictions that fail to comply with ICE detainer requests face fines and law enforcement officials face being charged with crimes under the new law.
The Migration Policy Institute article noted America appears to be returning to a similar climate to a decade ago when states enacted a raft of anti-immigration laws.
That movement petered out when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down major planks of Arizona’s controversial Senate Bill (SB) 1070 law. Echoes of the Arizona law, which fostered a number of copycat laws in the Southeast, can be found in the Texas law, SB 4, say critics.
However, the court upheld the contentious part of the anti-immigrant law in Arizona, requiring police to determine the immigration status of an arrestee of someone who is detained when there is “reasonable suspicion” they are not in the U.S. legally, reported the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Texas law also allows police to inquire into the immigration status of noncitizens who are arrested or detained, as well as that of victims or witnesses to crimes in the state.
Three lawsuit were filled shortly after the Texas bill was signed. The legal parallels with SB 1070 mean the result and fallout of the law in Arizona will be carefully examined in the Texas case, reported the Migration Policy Institute.