Texas AG Paxton sues San Antonio in test of new sanctuary city law

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton is suing the city of San Antonio for violating the new state law that punishes cities and towns for not cooperating with federal immigration detainers and turn over illegal aliens to authorities.

City officials and police say they will not cooperate with ICE unless the agency presents a federal deportation warrant for a specific individual.

The suit claims that San Antonio police stopped a truck carrying 12 Guatemalans they suspected of being illegal.  They actually knew that the aliens were illegal because they charged the driver with smuggling of persons.  The new law requires the city to hand over the individuals to ICE, which they failed to do.

Texas Tribune:

The lawsuit seeks hefty civil fees from the city, including a $25,500 penalty for nearly every day that the city's immigration procedures violated state law. The law went into effect Sept. 1, 2017 – meaning those fees could amount to some $11.6 million.

The lawsuit claims that San Antonio Police Chief William McManus "personally called an immigration attorney from an advocacy organization" and released the individuals without running background checks.

"Unfortunately, some municipalities, such as San Antonio, put the safety of police officers and the public at risk by defying state law," Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a news release.

City Attorney Andy Segovia took issue with Paxton's characterization of events, saying the attorney general was clearly "aimed at furthering a political agenda."

"While we need time to review the complaint, we are fully confident that neither the city nor Chief McManus violated the applicable provisions of [the law]," Segovia said in a statement.  "The city has a long history of cooperating with federal authorities and we will continue to do so.  The city's process for handling human smuggling/trafficking incidents was created in coordination with the federal government, and federal officials have not taken issue with our handling of immigration issues."

Paxton's office has asked the court to issue an injunction requiring the city to comply with the new law, as well as assess major civil penalties against the city, police department and McManus.

Are we a federal republic or not?  While states have certain rights vis-à-vis the federal government, law enforcement activities would logically seem to be an exception.  Why stop at refusing to enforce the laws against illegal aliens?  Why not terrorism?  Or murder?

We are in the midst of a revolution where cities and states are deciding what federal statutes to enforce.  The lower courts are siding with sanctuary cities, which makes this case a prime candidate for adjudication by the Supreme Court. 

If you don't like the law, change it.  Of course, democracy is hard, and most people just don't see the issue the way that local politicians see it.  If politicians ran on an open borders platform, they would lose.  So they couch their defiance of federal law in "humanitarian" terms, releasing some potentially violent criminals to prey upon the community.

I don't hold out much hope for the success of this law as it works its way through the courts.  But if we're ever going to exercise our sovereign right to control our own borders, sanctuary city laws have to go.