Austin and San Antonio are suing Texas over SB 4, the unconstitutional “Sanctuary City” law

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As I’ve written in previous articles many organizations along with Austin and San Antonio will be suing the state of Texas, Governor Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton over SB 4 the “Sanctuary City-Show Me Your Papers” law. SB 4 will go into effect September 1st.

The new “Sanctuary City” law allows police, sheriffs and highway patrol officers to question the immigration status of people they legally detain or arrest. It would also punish department heads and elected officials who don’t cooperate with federal immigration agents by turning over any immigrants subject to possible deportation. Elected or appointed officials found in violation could face criminal charges in the form of a class A misdemeanor and possibly be removed from office. This is a law that will surely be found unconstitutional.

MALDEF – The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund – filed the suit Thursday on behalf of San Antonio City Councilman Rey Saldaña and three nonprofit groups: Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, La Unión Del Pueblo Entero and the Worker’s Defense Project.

A spokesperson for Austin City Councilman Greg Casar said the city of Austin’s city attorney will file a motion to intervene and join fellow plaintiffs Friday but will use its own attorneys and include certain Austin-specific claims.

The lawsuit alleges the bill, SB 4- if enacted, would violate the First, Fourth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF’s president and general counsel said “All of those multiple constitutional claims basically relate to the illegality of empowering each and every police officer, sheriff’s deputy, booking agent and other law enforcement figures in the state of Texas to decide on their own, without any guidance or restriction from their duly elected superiors and appointed police chiefs … whether and how to enforce federal immigration law. There are still many weeks to have the cases consolidated, for motions to be filed … and to be heard and decided before Sept. 1st. There is no reason, at present, to panic” about the law’s implementation.” (link)

Remember this situation became even more heated on Monday, the last day of the 85th legislative session when (R) Representative Matt Rinaldi of Irving, Texas told a group of Hispanic members of the House that he had called ICE on the protestors. “Matt Rinaldi gave the perfect example of why there’s a problem with SB 4. Matt Rinaldi looked into the gallery and saw Hispanic people and automatically assumed they were undocumented. He racial profiled every single person that was in the gallery today. He created the scenario that so many of us fear.” said state Rep. Ramon Ramero, D-Fort Worth. (link)

America will be watching this lawsuit with sharply focused eyes! This “Sanctuary City-Show Me Your Papers” law will define the state of Texas by many people that would want to vacation in Texas from throughout the U.S. but also from countries around the world. SB 4, signed into law by Governor Abbott, represents a group of small minded right wing Republicans that are fading out in Texas as liberal younger voters and millennials replace them. Texas is turning and is becoming an inclusive state that will end the racial profiling that his law would cause.

Watch Texas on National Cable and Network News as these lawsuits play out. You will see that Texas will end up on the right side of history because of Federal Judges whose families are descendants of immigrants.

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