Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton already has filed suit against local jurisdictions that had been accused of not cooperating with federal immigration agents, in a preemptive bid to uphold a newly signed anti-sanctuary city law and head off numerous legal challenges.
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. Under the law, local officers who won’t cooperate with federal immigration agents could face jail time and fines up to $25,000 per day.
The Paxton-filed suit names Travis County, the city of Austin and several local officials as defendants. A Paxton statement said the suit asks the court to uphold the constitutionality of the new law.
“SB 4 is constitutional, lawful and a vital step in securing our borders,” he said in a statement. “… Unfortunately, some municipalities and law enforcement agencies are unwilling to cooperate with the federal government and claim that SB 4 is unconstitutional.”