Casar and other lawmakers announce plans to challenge 'SB4'

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The lawsuits challenging Senate Bill 4 are coming.  

Attorney General Ken Paxton anticipated this.  A day after Governor Abbott signed the bill into law on Facebook Live, Paxton took legal action against those that had vowed to fight it, like the City of Austin.  A pre-emptive strike.

"Instead of waiting for multiple lawsuits around the state and dealing with this over a long period of time, we just decided, let's get this done.  We believe our law is constitutional and we're ready to go," Paxton said on Fox News.

"It's a very bizarre lawsuit.  There's lots of speculation as to the purpose of it, it's riddled with factual inaccuracy, after factual inaccuracy," said Austin City Council Member Delia Garza on Tuesday.

In an hour-long press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, Austin City Council Member Greg Casar, some of his council colleagues, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, along with lawmakers and advocates from all across the state announced plans to challenge the "Sanctuary Cities" law in court.  Casar said SB4 violates the constitution.

The law allows local authorities to ask people who are pulled over during routine traffic stops about their citizenship. 

"This bill is a radical departure for how police departments work.  Police departments in all of our major cities protect people and arrest people regardless of immigration status.  And what this bill tries to do is target immigrant communities for extra harsh punishment and to ask people that look like immigrants for their papers," Casar said.

"'Show me your papers' is what we've been able to ask status since 2010 from the Supreme Court of this land.  So there's nothing new about that," said Jackson County Sheriff AJ Louderback.

Sheriff Louderback is the Legislative Director for the Sheriff's Association of Texas.  The group supported SB4.  He said it won't change how they do their job.

"The whipped-up fear and hysteria. Where's that coming from?  It's not coming from law enforcement.  It's coming from your advocacy groups which are claiming we in law enforcement, especially rural law enforcement. There's no changes for us," Louderback said.

At the press conference, lawmakers added their signatures to a board committing them to the fight against SB4.

This Thursday, the Austin City Council will vote on taking legal action against the State.  It's not clear yet whether the city will join other lawsuits or go their own way.

"Our lawyers are considering how to join the lawsuits and how to make sure they're best coordinated but we'll see that play out over the summer," Casar said.

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