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

*This is huge.  A Federal Judge says immigration detainers are unconstitutional. It makes sense, you can’t hold people with no charges on an administrative warrant. VL

By Michael Barajas, San Antonio Current (4.5 minute read)  

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.

[tweet_dis]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[/tweet_dis]. 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.”


Do you like stories that reflect authentic Latino life in the U.S.?

 Be part of a positive change.

Subscribe to the Latino daily

Amanda L. James

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

Coronavirus: Mexican wrestlers sew Lucha Libre face masks

Victor Landa April 23, 2020

Unable to compete due to coronavirus, Mexico’s Lucha Libre wrestlers have taken up sewing face masks. Social distancing means the iconic sport is on hold for now, so fighters need […]

Latinos: COVID-19 Disrupts Finances, Daily Life, Mental Health

Victor Landa April 6, 2020

COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate. But U.S. Latinos are more likely than all Americans to say the coronavirus pandemic changed their daily lives, and disrupts their mental health, finances, and jobs, according to new Pew Research […]

A Profile of Coronavirus and the Latino Workforce

Victor Landa April 13, 2020

*This article was originally published in the NALCAB Blog. Over the last month, the Coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the lives and well-being of all Americans. It has disproportionately impacted the most […]

Hispanics more likely than Americans overall to see COVID-19 as a major threat to health and finances

Victor Landa April 14, 2020

Hispanics are more concerned than Americans overall about the threat the COVID-19 outbreak poses to the health of the U.S. population, their own financial situation and the day-to-day life of their local […]

Coronavirus could ‘decimate’ Latino wealth, which was hammered by the Great Recession

Victor Landa April 16, 2020

Octavia Nieto worked for over 10 years as a pastry chef at a bakery in Princeton, New Jersey. Now with the business closed indefinitely, she relies on a part-time job […]

Latino Teens: Distance Learning Is a Giant Stressor amid Coronavirus

Victor Landa April 22, 2020

Latino teens are more worried than their peers that they won’t be able to keep up with school work or extracurricular activities amid coronavirus, says a new survey by Common Sense and […]


Victor Landa

Despite these uncertain times, the 2020 NFL Draft will proceed as planned. But because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020 NFL draft will be held virtually for the first time […]

Government Relief Less Likely To Reach Latino Businesses

Victor Landa April 23, 2020

Latino communities may face a generational setback in growing wealth, as the pandemic-driven downturn exacerbates an already present gap in funding for their small businesses. Juan Rios sits among the […]