Date scheduled for judge to hear suit against sanctuary cities law

Banners cover the plaza at Austin City Hall at the start of the "Texas' Moms Fight Back" rally and march on Sunday, May 14, 2017. (KXAN/Frank Martinez)
Banners cover the plaza at Austin City Hall at the start of the "Texas' Moms Fight Back" rally and march on Sunday, May 14, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Frank Martinez)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The preliminary injunction hearing against Texas’ new sanctuary cities law is scheduled for Monday, June 26.

Austin, San Antonio, El Paso County and El Cenizo are the plaintiffs in the suit against the State of Texas. Their lawsuit challenges Senate Bill 4, which was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott last month. Mayor Steve Adler and members of the Austin City Council believe the new law is vague and unconstitutional.

The law, passed by the Texas House in a 94-54 vote, bans so-called sanctuary cities in Texas and requires local law enforcement to follow federal regulations regarding immigration. The law puts harsh penalties in place for communities that don’t comply with the new law, such as hefty fines, loss of funds and even removal from office. Mayor Adler sees this partly as a free speech issue. 

“This law provides that an elected official such as myself could be removed from office for endorsing a policy that is contrary to Senate Bill 4,” said Adler. 

In a statement released just after he signed the bill, Gov. Abbott says public safety is his top priority. Despite the lawsuit and heavy opposition from Democrats, Gov. Abbott believes the law will stand up in court.

The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. at the federal courthouse in San Antonio in U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia’s court.

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