Texas border town sues over state law to punish 'sanctuary cities'

Paxton filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, as Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday signed the crackdown which bars sanctuary policies and gives local law enforcement officers the right to ask the immigration status of anyone they stop.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Antonio by El Cenizo's mayor and others, named Abbott and Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton as defendants.

Under an historic bill signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, sanctuary cities which release criminal illegal immigrants, subsequently ignoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers, will see the "stiffest penalties in America", Abbott told Breitbart Texas in an exclusive interview.

The League of United Latin American Citizens, Maverick County and the city of El Cenizo sued the state of Texas on Monday, claiming that SB 4 has failed to properly define a "sanctuary city", and that the city and county - both on the border with Mexico - have kept their residents safe by choosing to operate as sanctuaries since 1999.

Between 2008 and 2012, the ACLU said, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement requested local jails to hold 834 US citizens, including some who spent additional days in jail because of the error.

"I think this sends a message that Hispanics are not welcome in Texas and Hispanics are not valued", she added, though the bill only targets illegal immigrants. "Austin didn't seem to want to listen to its law enforcement leaders across the state". It also permits police to inquire about the legal status of those they encounter during their regular duties.

The law bans so-called "sanctuary cities" and allows police to ask about a person's immigration status and threatens sheriffs with jail if they do not cooperate with federal authorities.

Texas, with the longest border with Mexico of any USA state, has been at the forefront of the immigration debate. "This is a public safety issue that requires swift resolution". "Instead of waiting for multiple lawsuits around the state and dealing with this over a long period of time, we decided, 'let's get this on.' We believe our law is constitutional and we're ready to go". "SB 4 guarantees cooperation among federal, state and local law enforcement to protect Texans".

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