Lots Of People To Sue Texas Over Immigration Crackdown
By Roque Planas
AUSTIN, Texas ― Democratic elected officials from across the state gathered in front of the Capitol Tuesday to announce plans to challenge a Republican-backed immigration crackdown that opponents describe as unconstitutional.
Activists and politicians, surrounded by dozens of chanting supporters, said they’d spend the summer rallying opponents of Senate Bill 4 to fight the new law in the courts, and to oppose Republican lawmakers who passed it.
“They want elected officials like the ones standing behind me to back down,” Austin City Councilman Greg Casar said. “We’re going to give them a summer of resistance.”
Once SB4 takes effect in September, local officials like Casar could find themselves facing criminal charges. Under the law banning sanctuary cities, any jurisdiction that declines to hold an undocumented immigrant in custody on behalf of federal immigration authorities would face fines and the loss of state grant money. Officials who enact such policies face the possibility of prosecution and up to a year in jail. SB4, drawing comparisons with Arizona’s 2010 immigration crackdown bill, allows police to question the immigration status of anyone they stop.
But the anti-sanctuary bill signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott this month is already facing so many legal battles that opponents said they’re confident the bill will be blocked in court before it’s implemented.
“We’ve heard a lot of reasons why SB4 is bad policy,” Marisa Bono, a lawyer with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said. “But let’s be clear. It’s also illegal. It’s unconstitutional.”
Critics say there’s no way the law will stand up in court. Federal judges have already ruled that requests from […]