Austin, San Antonio plan legal challenge to sanctuary cities ban

Hundreds of protesters gather in the Texas Capitol rotunda on May 29, 2017, chanting against the already-passed Senate Bill 4, banning sanctuary cities in the state. (KXAN Photo/Rachel Glaser)
Hundreds of protesters gather in the Texas Capitol rotunda on May 29, 2017, chanting against the already-passed Senate Bill 4, banning sanctuary cities in the state. (KXAN Photo/Rachel Glaser)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The city of Austin will formally file a legal challenge to the “anti-immigrant” sanctuary cities bill, Senate Bill 4.

The city plans to file the lawsuit “for violations of the U.S. Constitution” on Friday morning. The city of San Antonio, along with the Workers Defense Project and the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, will file a challenge to the law Thursday night.

Austin and San Antonio are joining El Paso County and El Cenizo, Texas in challenging the ban.

The Austin City Council first voted to authorize the lawsuit against the ban on May 18 in a 10-to-1 vote. Council Member Ellen Troxclair was the lone vote against the measure.

SB4, which was signed by Gov. Abbott on May 7, 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.

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.

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