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The battle over sanctuary cities is not just a matter of pitting some cities against federal policy. The conflict is also pitting cities against state governments.
More than 30 states have moved with varying degrees of success to rein in so-called sanctuary cities that have pledged to not assist federal agents with rounding up and prosecuting suspected illegal immigrants.
Texas - Step - Legislation - Law - Enforcement
So far, though, Texas appears to have taken the biggest step with new legislation that "requires local law enforcement agents to honor requests by federal immigration agents to detain jailed immigrants suspected of being in the country without proper documentation.
It also empowers local law enforcement officers to ask about a person’s immigration status during routine encounters, such as traffic stops." The legislation, known as Senate Bill 4, was signed into law by Texas Governor Abbott on May 7.
Response - Cities - State - Texas - Attempts
In response, several cities have sued the State of Texas, claiming the attempts by state government to force compliance on cities is an abuse of "big government."
Legally speaking, it's not clear that the cities have much of a foundation to stand on. Unlike states, which are guaranteed a certain amount of sovereignty in the US Constitution, local governments are usually creatures of the state government itself.
States - State - Government - Rights - Cities
In most states, the state government does not guarantee specific rights to specific cities and counties. County and city lines have historically been drawn and re-drawn by the state governments. While the United States is a federalist system — albeit an increasingly centralized one — state governments are not federalist, but are unitary.
Thus, state-city relations are not analogous to state-federal relations.
Laws - Constitutions - Solutions - Answers - Ones
But, laws and constitutions can be changed, and political solutions can offer answers where legal ones do not.
In our age of increasing migration to metropolitan areas, we need to re-evaluate out model for political jurisdictions...
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