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Immigrants not the only group threatened by Texas' "sanctuary city" law

We've been looking in recent posts about the state of Texas's newly passed sanctuary city ban, and the impact this law is likely to have on immigrants, as well as the importance of immigrants having strong legal advocacy when they come into contact with the law, particularly in the deportation process.

As we've noted, the law requires law enforcement to comply with immigration detainer requests, allows officers to inquire about the immigration status of detainees and arrestees, and authorizes the discontinuation to cities that refuse to cooperate with enforcement of federal immigration law. As has been pointed out, though, certain aspects of the law may not be fully understood by the public. 

For one thing, the law applies not only to police officers, but to numerous government officials. This means that city council members, county commissions members, members of other local governing bodies, and others.

Second, the law not only requires law enforcement to comply with the enforcement of federal immigration law, but also allows for the removal of any elected or appointed official who prohibits or materially limits enforcement or cooperation with immigration officials.

Finally, the law not only allows for police to inquire about the immigration status of immigrants who commit crimes, but also victims and witnesses of crimes. Officers don't even necessarily have to know for sure whether an individual is a victim or witness, but must only have probable cause to believe so.

In other words, the scope of the law is fairly broad. It remains to be seen exactly how the law will be enforced, and whether it will withstand the legal challenges that are coming its way. For those who are impacted by the law, it will be important to work with experienced legal counsel as the legalities of enforcement are worked out. 

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