The New York Times reports on cities and local governments in Texas responding, or not, to the implementation of SB4:
But months after portions of the law went into effect in September, prompting legal battles and fierce debates about whether it could lead to widespread racial profiling, officers in some Texas cities appear to be asking about immigration status only in very rare cases. And even after the court’s ruling this week, officials in those cities are not planning to make them change.
“From an operational standpoint, from a policy standpoint, it will have no impact,” Chief Art Acevedo of the Houston Police Department said of the law. “The problem is the perception problem that it creates, that local police officers are going to be more interested in immigration enforcement of people who don’t bother anybody.”
Going forward, the case against SB4 is still being pursued, but this ruling may have unintended effects.
Despite upholding most of the law’s provisions, the Fifth Circuit’s decision could narrow the effect of the law. The ruling suggested that local officials who limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement because of limited resources were not necessarily violating the law.
“It is not 100 percent obvious what is allowed and not allowed as far as policymaking,” said Thomas A. Saenz, the president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which represents San Antonio and other jurisdictions and groups in the lawsuit. “You don’t know how it’s going to be put into effect in the field.”