City Council votes to take legal action against SB 4

May 19, 2017 - 8:18 am

(Austin/KJCE) Austin City Council voted Thursday evening to approve legal action against the state and Senate Bill 4.

SB 4, the so-called "sanctuary cities" ban, was signed by Governor Abbott earlier this month. The new law is set to go into effect on September 1, requiring local governments and law enforcement agencies to follow federal immigration laws and comply with detainer requests. The law also creates criminal penalties for officials who refuse to comply.

The council action directs the City Manager to "prepare and pursue litigation" against SB 4. The resolution claims that cities with welcoming policies towards immigrants have less criminal activity, and that the City of Austin maintains the right to self-governance.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has already filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to uphold the constitutionality of the ban. That suit names Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez, along with Travis County, the City of Austin, and the Mayor and City Council members in their official capacity.

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