June 23 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump's administration filed a show of support Friday for a new Texas law against sanctuary cities -- an issue that the president has already attempted to tackle with an executive order.
The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in the case of El Cenizo, et al v. Texas -- a lawsuit in which multiple cities are trying to block the law known as SB4.
The law prohibits cities and towns in Texas from having policies that prevent local authorities from sharing immigration-related information with the federal government. It also directs Texas officials in most cases to cooperate with federal immigration "detainer" requests -- which are essentially efforts to deport undocumented immigrants in the custody of local authorities.
In other words, SB4 seeks to eliminate "sanctuary cities" in the state of Texas -- effective Sept. 1.
"The Department primarily argues that SB4 is not preempted by the Supremacy Clause, it is not inconsistent with the Tenth Amendment, and it does not violate the Fourth Amendment," the Justice Department said in announcing the 49-page filing Friday.
"President Trump has made a commitment to keep America safe and to ensure cooperation with federal immigration laws. Texas has admirably followed his lead by mandating state-wide cooperation with federal immigration laws that require the removal of illegal aliens who have committed crimes," U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.
Sanctuary cities are those that have either an official or unofficial policy against cooperating with federal immigration authorities. Many of the United States' largest cities fit the definition, including New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Those areas do, however, cooperate with federal authorities when immigrants are the subject of criminal warrants.
The crux of opponents' arguments is that the orders bring about a number of unintended consequences that cause harm to the cities and counties in which they reside.
Texas' largest cities are part of the lawsuit opposing the law, including Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin. They argue that existing federal law does not impose any requirement to comply with detainer orders.
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump attempted to deter cities from "sanctuary city" status by issuing an executive order that would withhold some federal funding from locations that do not cooperate with federal retainers. However, that order has been blocked in federal court.
"The Department of Justice fully supports Texas's effort and is participating in this lawsuit because of the strong federal interest in facilitating the state and local cooperation that is critical in enforcing our nation's immigration laws," Sessions added.
A U.S. district court judge will hear arguments in the matter at a hearing Monday, at which the plaintiffs in the case will request an injunction blocking the law.