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LULAC First to File Lawsuit Against SB 4, Texas Ban on ‘Sanctuary Cities’

May 9, 2017

Washington, D.C. – On Monday, May 8th the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) filed the first lawsuit against Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB 4). In response, LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha Jr. issued the following statement:

“The complaint which was filed by the League of United Latin American Citizens against the State of Texas and key government officials seeks declaratory and injunctive relief from the courts to stop the state from discriminating against individuals based solely on the color of their skin. The complaint, which was the first to be filed by a civil rights organization in response to the signing of SB 4, maintains that SB 4 violates the U.S. Constitution. The statute seeks to extend local law enforcement into a field preempted by federal law. Specifically, SB 4 impermissibly extends immigration enforcement to local officials by forcing local government entities to cooperate with immigration enforcement efforts in a way that violates federal law both constitutionally and statutorily. In addition to the statute being unconstitutional, it is bad policy. SB 4 will promote distrust between local law enforcement and the community at large."

The complaint was filed on behalf of a small town near the border with Mexico called El Cenizo, which has had a “safe haven” ordinance since 1999 that prohibits city employees from asking about a person’s immigration status.

The new SB 4 legislation penalizes law enforcement officials who do not comply with federal authorities on detaining and turning over undocumented immigrants. The failure to cooperate will result in a Class A misdemeanor (punishable by up to either a $4,000 fine and/or a year in prison) upon the first offense, with a civil penalty resulting in a fine of $25,500 per day also possible. Officials would also be at risk of being removed from their elected or appointed office.

SB 4 will take effect on September 1.

Click here to donate and help LULAC fight SB 4.

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The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.

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