Texas sued the city of Austin, its elected officials and the county sheriff to enforce the nation's toughest state-level ban on sanctuary cities, just hours after Republican Governor Greg Abbott signed the measure into law.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who was also named as a defendant in the suit, said he was glad the issue was heading to court.
As Latino and immigrant families gathered for Sunday dinner after mass yesterday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 4: racist, anti-immigrant legislation that puts a target squarely on the backs of almost half the population in the state.
"[Senate bill] 4 is constitutional, lawful and a vital step in securing our borders", Paxton said in a statement. "And the last constitutional claim that they're anticipating is a preemption claim - the idea that federal law preempts any state law with respect to immigration and so SB4 is invalid for that reason". While he said the state recognizes and supports legal immigration, he chose to sign the law because it cracks down on policies such as Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez's declaration that she would not detain known criminals accused of violent crimes.
Abbott recently signed a law effectively banning sanctuary cities across in Texas.
"He would not have needed a new sanctuary cities law had he had authority under existing law", he said.
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According to sources, there will be a 20 to 50 per cent discount on ticket prices on national holidays and Sundays. For those using smart cards, the discount will over and above the 10 per cent they already enjoy.
Lorella Praeli, ACLU director of immigration policy and campaigns, added: "The ACLU's goal is to protect all Texans and all people traveling through Texas - regardless of their immigration status - from illegal harassment by law enforcement".
"I would not be concerned about being in Texas".
Abbott on Sunday night signed the bill that allows police to ask a person about their immigration status during routine traffic stops. Some Democrats said the timing of the signing particularly stung after three recent federal court rulings that found intentional discrimination in Republican-passed voting laws.
"It's not only going to be undocumented families that are affected", she said.
They're concerned the law will have a chilling effect on people in the Hispanic community who may be reluctant to come forward and report crimes.
Amid a flurry of reactions, Gov. Abbott's quote still seems most appropriate: "only criminals should worry about the new law". The law also applies to campus police at Texas's public universities.