Austin City Council authorizes lawsuit against Texas’ sanctuary city ban

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin City Council voted 10 to 1 to move forward with a legal challenge to Texas’ Senate Bill 4, the new law that bans sanctuary cities in the state.

SB4, which was signed by Gov. Abbott earlier this month, requires local government and law enforcement to follow all federal immigration laws and detainer requests, putting in place criminal penalties if anyone breaks the new law.

Council Member Greg Casar, who penned an op-ed against the new law in the New York Times, announced the city’s intention to file a lawsuit seeking to block the law on Twitter. Council Member Ellen Troxclair was the lone vote against the measure.

Less than a day after the bill was signed into law, Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to uphold the constitutionality of the ban.

Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez is named in the state’s lawsuit brought before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, along with Travis County, the city of Austin and — in their official capacity — Austin Mayor Steve Adler and City Council members.

Hernandez has said she would follow the ban if it were signed into law. “While I hate seeing a state law like this come to pass, I have always followed the law and that will not change.”

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