Part Of Texas’ Sanctuary Jurisdiction Law May Be Unconstitutional Or Something

Part Of Texas’ Sanctuary Jurisdiction Law May Be Unconstitutional Or Something

Yeah, there’s a big “or something” in this article

Federal Judge Calls a Critical Part of Texas’ “Sanctuary Cities” Crackdown Unconstitutional

The same San Antonio federal court judge who will soon decide whether Texas can enforce its new law banning so-called “sanctuary cities” just explained in a separate ruling why a major portion of the law appears to be unconstitutional.

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U.S. District Court Judge Orlando Garcia ruled on Monday that the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure when jailers detained an undocumented immigrant for more than two months in 2016 after a misdemeanor charge against him was dismissed. Lawyers for the man had challenged the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office’s longstanding practice of granting so-called immigration “detainers,” routine requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for local jails to hold people suspected of federal immigration violations, even if their local charges have been dismissed or otherwise resolved. Lawyers across the country have argued that such requests are often flawed, haphazard and fall well below the legal standard of a warrant or judge’s order.

This week, Judge Garcia concluded that the case of Julio Trujillo, who court records show was arrested and charged with the misdemeanor assault of his girlfriend in January 2016, is an example of how the detainer system can lead to warrantless, unconstitutional detention. Trujillo’s lawyers say he spent a total of 76 days in Bexar County lockup after his charge was dismissed because of a detainer request ICE had lodged with the county. In his Monday ruling, which was first reported by the Express-News, Garcia said the county had wrongly assumed that ICE detainers, which are usually over alleged civil immigration violations and not criminal matters, constitute probable cause. He wrote that the “routine detention of such individuals made it inevitable that it (the county) would engage in warrantless detention of individuals who were not suspected of any criminal offense.”

Lawyers challenging the state’s new immigration law, Senate Bill 4, say the ruling should prove useful as cities and counties across the state sue to block the law from going into effect on September 1. Under SB 4, local officials who don’t comply with all ICE detainers risk being booted out of office or even criminally charged.

The thrust of the article, and what supporters of illegal aliens are claiming (such as this Huffington Post article based on the above), is that the state forcing jurisdictions to comply with ICE detainers is now unconstitutional, based on this ruling.

What’s missing is that, while Bexar County was in the wrong and did violate the rights of the illegal alien in question, that in no way invalidates SB4 on requiring compliance with ICE detainers. Bexar was wrong to hold Trujillo that long. And, it was not actually in compliance with ICE detainer policy. Said policy requires a 48 hour hold. After that, if ICE has not picked up the illegal in question, well, that’s the fault of ICE, and the jurisdiction can, and should, release the illegal.

One could argue “hey, the illegal was being released from jail for rape/murder/violence!!!!” Yes. But, the burden is on ICE to do their job within the confines of the time period. If they’re placing the detainer, the onus is on them to do it in the allotted time. That’s the way it works, and should work. That Bexar County chose to hold the illegal in question for 76 days has nothing to do with SB4: it just shows that the County made a big, big mistake.

BTW, as both articles attempt to make the case that Trujillo was a model citizen who was charged with a misdemeanor that was dismissed, they let something slip through

Other than the misdemeanor charge that landed him in jail and was ultimately dismissed, records show no other criminal history. Court documents do, however, indicate that he was deported in late 2001 (it’s unclear when he re-entered the country).

Entering the country is a criminal act with a civil penalty. Entering the country after being deported is a criminal act with a criminal penalty. That makes Trujillo a, get this, criminal.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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