City of Austin Plans to Fight "Sanctuary City" Law


Austin city council members are preparing for a fight over the new "sanctuary cities" law in Texas, which would allow a law enforcement officer to ask a person's immigration status.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a lawsuit - naming several city and county officials, trying to have a court rule the law as constitutional. Leslie Rangel spoke with city council members who say the battle is just beginning.

"I think when the Texas Attorney General is suing you, you are doing something right," Delia Garza, Austin City Councilwoman. Austin city council member Delia Garza says the fight against SB-4 is just beginning.

"I think this sends a message that Hispanics are not welcome in Texas and Hispanics are not valued."
Some groups say that message is already spreading.

"At times will get some of our clients who don't even answer the door but just because of the fear that were associated with ICE," Joanna Argueta.

Joanna Argueta helps survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and even child abuse.

"The struggles of these families have gone through is something that at times is indescribable, at times is hard to even listen to," Joanna Argueta.

Now they're shying away from getting help.
"We have seen an impact in individuals who are Spanish preferred speaking call on the hotline over the course from January until now," Victoria Berryhill.

Hearing the effects - are lighting the fire for people like Garza to go up against the Texas attorney general.
"One would assume they already thought it was a constitutional law when they decided to pass it, so it sounds like they're almost admitting that it's possible that it's not constitutional," Delia Garza, Austin City Councilwoman.

She says this fight could be years long and cost taxpayers millions of dollars... But she stands by one thing.
"They thought they could bury us, they didn't know we were seeds. I think our community is extremely resilient. We're used obstacles, and we're used to overcoming them," Delia Garza, Austin City Councilwoman.

According to the lawsuit, Austin and Travis County officials are named because the state says they endorse and engage in ignoring ice detainer requests and not working with federal officials.

 


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