Texas New Immigration Law Results in Controversy. The new law, known as SB 4, bans sanctuary cities –jurisdictions that choose not to comply with federal immigration enforcement– and gives police officers freedom to inquire about people’s immigration status, commanding cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
Local government department heads and elected officials who don’t cooperate with federal immigration “detainers” are subject to punishment that could come in the form of jail time and penalties that exceed $25,000.
On the other hand, the government of Mexico has aligned itself with municipalities suing the state of Texas over this new law, after it began to raise concerns in the Mexican community.
Lawyers for the Mexican government argue that it forces Mexico to treat Texas differently from other states and interferes with diplomatic interests and on-going negotiations on an important scale of matters, from trade to security.
Los Angeles County officials voted to limit the ability of immigration agents to carry out arrests for deportation on county properties. Under the policy, said agents would need a judicial warrant to enter non-public areas of Los Angeles County buildings, including hospitals and county offices.
Moreover, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is leading the charge against the said policies on immigration enforcement. Blumenthal renewed the call for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to respect sensitive locations such as schools, churches and hospitals, as established “safe zones” where immigrants won’t fear being rounded up for deportation.
In addition the White House issued an Immigration Principles and Policies Statement which focused on changes to border security, unaccompanied alien children, asylum reform, swift border return, the expansion of the definition of inadmissible aliens to the United States, interior enforcement, immigration authority, partnerships with states and localities, visa overstays and a merit-based immigration system.
As a result, opinions remain divided, as Federal Immigration Officials are looking at expanding jail cells in Minnesota and other parts of the country. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has sent a request for information that identifies St. Paul and three other cities –Chicago, Detroit and Salt Lake City– in which the agency is looking to possibly expand detention sites.
ICE spokesman Shawn Neudauer in St. Paul says the agency does not discuss contract negotiations, and Salt Lake City spokesman Matthew Rojas says the initial response from the mayor was concern.
Regardless of what happens with this potential new facility, Salt Lake City Police Public Information Officer Greg Wilking says the department simply doesn’t have the time to take on the job of immigration enforcement. “We are not going to check people’s immigration status,” he said. “We want to build trust in the community. We want to have relationships with people in the community that we’re serving.” With a lot of unanswered questions, the message to Salt Lake’s immigration community remains the same.
Now, Immigrants have been allowed to live and work in the United States under a program called Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that shields some migrants from deportation. The permission must be periodically renewed by the Department of Homeland Security, and in the coming weeks, the agency will decide the fate of about 195,000 Salvadorans, 57,000 Hondurans, 50,000 Haitians and 2,550 Nicaraguans. This program will expire soon for 300,000 Central Americans residing legally in the United States, but the Trump administration has given little indication it plans to renew the benefit.
Their predicament is not as well known as the “Dreamers” who have been allowed to stay under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that is currently being cancelled. President Donald Trump last month announced an end to the program, but stated that those whose authorizations were set to expire within six months could apply for renewal, so long as they did so by October 5. Still, about 21.000 young immigrants, many brought to the country illegally as children, did not submit their status renewal applications in time.
Under these circumstances, the end of TPS protections could have a wider range of consequences, especially in cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Washington, where many of the beneficiaries and their U.S. born children reside. Yet, administration officials say the TPS program was never intended to be a way for migrants to remain indefinitely in the United States.