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Everything You Need to Know About Texas’ Anti-Sanctuary Law

First Posted: Jun 20, 2017 03:29 PM EDT
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Protestors oppose Texas' Senate Bill 4

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The legal fight over Texas' tough, anti-sanctuary cities law will enter its next phase on Monday when the first major hearing about Senate Bill 4 will take place in a San Antonio district court.

Signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, SB 4, also known as the "show me your papers" law, cracks down on communities where undocumented immigrants are less likely to be deported from the country.

Authorities who fail to follow through on the orders of federal immigration agents face stiff penalties, including fines up to $25,000 a day, removal from office, and/or jail time.

In a consolidated legal effort, major cities across Texas are expressing their opposition to SB 4 by filing lawsuits against the state, which are set to be heard by U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia.

Some of the organizations representing cities like San Antonio, Dallas, and El Paso County are the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Critics opposed to SB 4 say the ban is unconstitutional in the way it ratchets up racial and ethnic profiling. In the "show me your papers" context, criminal defense lawyer Amber Vazquez Bode argues that the law does not hold up under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

Despite the strong rhetoric, several Texas police departments, including the Texas Cities Chiefs and the Texas Police Chiefs Association have expressed their disapproval of SB 4 as well as their commitment to continue serving their Latino and immigrant communities.

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