One by one, Texas cities are lining up against the state’s new immigration law set to go into effect in September. From El Cenizo, the state’s oldest sanctuary city, to Austin, the Lone Star State’s capitol, communities are coalescing to stop Senate Bill 4.
If SB4 is enacted, officers could question the immigration status of people they legally detain or arrest. If they identify an undocumented immigrant, that individual faces possible deportation.
The battle lines are being drawn. Those already in opposition now find themselves with a powerful new ally.
The city famous for football dominance, not to mention a namesake soap opera, is the latest local government to fight the controversial legislation. Mike Rawlings and his fellow mayoral allies believe that it punishes law enforcement officers and elected officials who do not cooperate with federal immigration agents.
Rawlings claims that the bill is unconstitutional and infringes upon the ability of cities to protect public safety. It also undermines local government’s ability to craft their own, customized policies to keep their cities safe.
On his official Facebook page, Dallas’ top elected official announced that he would work with the other cities to challenge the “sanctuary cities” measure in court.
The mayor’s move to unite with the current roster of opposing cities comes on the heels of the state launching a pre-emptive strike. In May, officials asked a federal court to declare the law constitutional.
While cities and counties have already filed lawsuits, officials in Dallas have yet to decide whether to join those legal challenges or pursue their own litigation.
The dog days of summer are coming with the battle lines heating up in a dogfight of epic proportions.