The one part of SB 4 that is still on hold is a provision that punishes local officials from "adopting, enforcing or endorsing" policies that specifically prohibit or limit enforcement of immigration laws.
After Tuesday's ruling was announced, Abbott updated his followers on Twitter, highlighting that claims the bill would lead to racial profiling were rejected.
In a new ruling, a federal appeals court has upheld most of Texas law targeting sanctuary cities in what some are calling the toughest state-level immigration measure in the country. Allegations of discrimination were rejected.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, which is helping with the case against the law, said after the ruling that it will look at challenging its enforcement, rather than the law itself, now that it is going into effect.
The circuit court's decision comes in response to a challenge from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who appealed a lower court decision that would've put all of the bill on hold as the cities' lawsuit against the state proceeds in U.S. District Court.
"Senate Bill 4 is lawful, constitutional and protects the safety of law enforcement officers and all Texans", Mr. Paxton said.
On January 25, President Donald Trump ordered the resumption of the 2008 Secure Communities program that relied on information sharing among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to identify and deport immigrants with criminal records. "Risky criminals shouldn't be allowed back into our communities to possibly commit more crimes". "I'm disappointed and we need to hear our attorney's advice", he said. Sanctuary supporters say enlisting police in deportation actions undermines community trust in local law enforcement, particularly among Latinos.
Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez, who made headlines with her initial refusal to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also issued a statement. Reacting to Tuesday's ruling, many of them expressed disappointment but also resolve. The first step in an appeal would most likely be to request a review by the full Fifth Circuit court.
"We will continue to follow the law as provided to us by the courts in this matter and we will rise to the challenge of keeping Travis County safe, although our ability to overcome fear and foster cooperation within the immigrant community is a greater challenge now".