The city of Austin wages Legal Battle against Senate Bill 4 law, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott

The city of Austin Wages Legal Battle against Senate Bill 4 law, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Several leaders from across Texas have banded together in a legal battle over the anti-immigrant Senate Bill 4 law, signed by the Governor of Texas Greg Abbott in May.

The anti-immigrant Senate Bill 4 law, is set to take effect on the 1st of Sep, it will force local police to comply with voluntary U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests and allow law enforcement to inquire about the citizenship status of residents arrested or detained.

It will also remove public officials who endorse policies contrary to the Senate Bill 4’s provisions. Meant to punish so-called “sanctuary cities,” it’s widely regarded as racist legislation that will divide families, instil fear in immigrant communities, and drain local resources.

“Make no mistake about it, Governor Greg Abbott picked a fight with Texas families when he was signing the Senate Bill 4 law,” Jose Garza of Workers Defense Project said during a press call on the 1st of June. “And it’s a fight he’s not going to win.”

The city of Austin challenges nearly every part of Senate Bill 4 law, claiming it violates the Fourteenth, Fourth, and First Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and preemption of federal immigration law.

“Each and every provision of SB 4 will cause real and immediate injury,” Thomas Saenz of MALDEF during the June 1 press call said. The bill intentionally discriminates against the Latino community and requires individual police officers to engage in racial profiling, the suit charges.

Despite the legal challenge from the state’s top attorney, Austin City Council passed a resolution last month to initiate its own suit against Texas to protect local law enforcement and immigrant families. Other Texas cities are expected to follow this summer.

When asked if he would violate the law if it does go into effect in September, a steadfast Alder responded: “I can’t imagine a situation where I would stop enforcing what I thought is right for the city of Austin – that’s why I was elected.”

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