Texas' new immigration law goes to court — Focus at Four

City Of El Paso Joins Plaintiffs In Suit Against Texas Immigration Law

27 June, 2017

Democratic state Rep. Ana Hernandez, who did not become a USA citizen until she was 18 years old, wiped away tears on the witness stand as she recalled Republican colleagues referring to people who are not citizens as "illegals" during debate over SB4.

But advocates say ICE is arresting many immigrants who do not pose a threat to public safety, such as a Falls Church woman deported to El Salvador last week.

They also claim it creates immigration law - a power reserved for the federal government.

The Texas law imposes severe penalties on cities and towns that do not cooperate with federal immigration agents. But the Texas law has become a prominent test of whether courts will approve strong-arm tactics endorsed by President Donald Trump to pressure local jurisdictions into complying with federal deportation efforts. He and the rest of the state's legal team will lay out their case when the hearing resumes after lunch recess.

On the steps of the courthouse, elected officials from cities across Texas rallied in opposition to SB 4.

In a statement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said it was "reassuring" to know the Trump administration backed Texas and would help defend SB 4.

The hearing revisited the racial tension that simmered in the Texas Capitol both before and after Abbott signed the law. "Together we are going to go into this court and tell the judge that this law is discriminatory, and we reject that", attorney Mimi Marziani said in a press conference outside the courthouse.

The Austin City Council first voted to authorize the lawsuit against the ban on May 18 in a 10-to-1 vote. "This feels like an attack on Latinos".

Cancer survivors, families walk in Relay for Life event in Sparta
The ceremony is followed by the survivor lap, a lap for all cancer survivors and people now being affected by cancer. All the money raised goes towards the American Cancer Society to help in the fight against this disease.

"No one in the history of the United States has ever attempted this in any state".

Paxton said in court filings that the law doesn't require police officers to initiate immigration interrogations or arrests. He said the law protects victims and witnesses. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the new law raises serious Constitutional concerns.

"Upholding the law would send a awful signal to other states that they can enact similar or even more draconian laws", Gelernt said in an interview.

The Justice Department argues that federal law does not preempt the legislation, known as "SB4", and that it is not unconstitutional.

Trump campaigned against sanctuary cities and on January 25 issued an executive order to punish them. However, that order has been blocked in federal court.

The Republican-backed law in Texas, the US state with the longest border with Mexico, takes effect on September 1.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has moved its 2018 conference from Grapevine, Tex., to San Francisco because of the law.

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