As we reported yesterday, Texas became the first state under the Trump administration to sign legislation banning sanctuary cities.Colorado also banned sanctuary cities 2006 –- but that law was repealed in 2013. Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee have also signed bills into law attempting to ban sanctuary policies, and Virginia attempted to but pulled the bill, facing a veto from Governor Terry McAuliffe.
Texas could set off a wave in other states putting forward similar policies, with Florida, Louisiana, and Nevada expected to follow in Texas’ footsteps.
While an Obama-appointed judge has challenged President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order giving the federal government authority to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities, a new lawsuit in Texas will aid that State’s efforts to do as much to their sanctuary jurisdictions.
According to The Blaze:Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Sunday against the city of Austin as part of his effort to enforce a new state ban on sanctuary cities. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed the ban, known as SB 4, into law the same day.
The lawsuit, which also names Travis County and a slew of local officials, including the Austin mayor and city council members, as defendants, is a proactive measure to allow the U.S. District Court to uphold the constitutionality of the new law in a single sweeping decision and avoid individual lawsuits challenging the legislation.
Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez, one of the defendants in the case, told KXAN-TV that she plans to be compliant with the new rules.In January, Hernandez instructed her deputies and jailers that they were not allowed to ask anyone’s immigration status and imposed a limit on the amount of help her department gave to federal immigration enforcement agents.
Of course, not everyone is on board. Austin City Councilwoman Delia Garza believes that this lawsuit is somehow moral validation. “I think when the Texas attorney general is suing you, you are doing something right, and I think that we have often said that Austin is a welcoming city, and we often said we disagree with SB 4 and its intent,” she said.Who knew that a lawsuit against you was a sign that you’re doing something right? At least those who’ve been jailed as a result of AG Paxton can rest assured one councilwoman is on their side.
[Note: This post was written by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]