Sanctuary cities and other immigration news – August 31, 2017

Sanctuary City

The anti-sanctuary policies of the current administration ran into trouble in Texas, Philadelphia, and Denver this week. A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against Texas’s SB4, the city of Philadelphia sued Trump and Sessions, and the Denver city council unanimously passed a sanctuary city ordinance.

Judge temporarily blocks ‘sanctuary cities’ law (Texas Tribune, 8/30/17)

“U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia granted a preliminary injunction of Senate Bill 4, one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s key legislative priorities that seeks to outlaw “sanctuary” entities, the common term for governments that don’t enforce federal immigration laws.  “

Federal judge blocks Texas’ tough ‘sanctuary cities’ law (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/30/17) The law was set to take effect on Friday.

“In a 94-page ruling, [U.S. District Court Judge Orlando] Garcia wrote that there “is overwhelming evidence by local officials, including local law enforcement, that SB 4 will erode public trust and make many communities and neighborhoods less safe” and that “localities will suffer adverse economic consequences which, in turn, will harm the state of Texas.”…

“The four largest cities in Texas — San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Dallas— have joined the lawsuit, saying the law is vague and would have a chilling effect on immigrant communities.”

Philly sues Trump AG Jeff Sessions over ‘sanctuary cities’ crackdown (Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/30/17)

“Sessions and Trump have argued that sanctuary city policies release dangerous criminals into communities. Devin O’Malley, a representative for the Department of Justice, said in an email that Philadelphia had “joined other jurisdictions in doing a disservice to their citizens by protecting criminal aliens rather than law-abiding citizens” and noted Philadelphia’s murder rate, which is up 7 percent this year.

“But city officials have countered that undocumented immigrants receive no special treatment under the policies, which they say have cut down on crime and built trust between immigrant communities and police: “We’ve had the lowest crime rate in 40 years,” Kenney said. The lawsuit says violent crime declined 20 percent since 2009, when they city directed all of its employees not to ask about anyone’s immigration status.”

Denver passes immigration ordinance restricting city cooperation with ICE (9News, 8/28/17)

“With a 10-0 vote, Denver City Council unanimously passed the Denver Public Safety Enforcement Priorities Act on Monday night…

“It’s now in writing that city employees, like officers, will not collect information on immigration status. The city won’t detain anyone beyond that person’s sentence on behalf ICE. The city won’t share anyone’s citizenship states for the purpose of immigration enforcement. The city will not allow ICE agents into jail without a warrant. Exceptions to these rules include necessary peace-keeping, or following a warrant from a federal judge.”

L.A. immigrant detained while taking his daughters to school will be released today (Los Angeles Times, 8/30/17)

“Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, an immigrant in the country illegally who caused a furor when his arrest while taking his daughters to school was caught on video, is expected to be released Wednesday night after a judge announced that he is eligible to post a $6,000 bond….

“Avelica-Gonzalez, a Mexican citizen, has lived in the United States for more than 25 years. His case drew national attention, with critics citing it as an example of President Trump’s aggressive and sweeping stance on illegal immigration.”

Immigrant advocates protest man’s deportation after traffic stop (Newsday, 8/30/17)

“The case stems from an Aug. 7 traffic stop by Nassau police of Denis Guerra Guerra in Roosevelt after he had failed to signal, advocates said. Though Guerra Guerra didn’t have a criminal record, police found a pending deportation order and handed him over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Guerra Guerra, 30, a baker who lived in Hempstead and was a leader at a youth program in his church, was held at detention facilities in New Jersey, Manhattan and Louisiana before he was flown back to El Salvador on Aug. 23. He had lived in Nassau County for 11 years, immigrant advocates and relatives said.”




About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet,, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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