Leaders consider next move before 'sanctuary cities' law goes into effect

Texas' 'sanctuary cities' bill heads to court

DALLAS -- During a Facebook live in early May, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed SB4 into law.

"Texas has now banned 'sanctuary cities' in the Lone Star State." said Abbott. 

Set to take effect in September, SB4, commonly known as the "sanctuary city law" requires police to ask about a person's immigration status when they are legally detained or arrested and threatens to prosecute law enforcement officials that don't cooperate.

"Our Latino brothers and sisters are not criminals and our local police officers have more important things to do than acting as immigration agents," said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings earlier this month.

Monday a Federal District Court in San Antonio will consider blocking the law. Opponents have called the law unconstitutional and say it will disproportionately impact the Latino community. 

While many cities have filed suits attempting to block the passage of this law many leaders are preparing for its passage.

Saturday afternoon, nearly one thousand Latino leaders gathered for a full weekend of meetings as they work on a plan of action should SB4 go into effect.  The meetings were organized by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

A portion of Saturday's meeting touched on how immigrants should interact with police.

"Basically it's to get them to know the rights and responsibilities of living in the United States but also for them to know the rights of the constitution under the fourth and fifth amendment so that if they are detained by a police officer or any law enforcement they know how to act and how to cooperate," Immigration Lawyer Douglas Interiano.

Those hoping to stop the bill before it gets teeth will have their work cut out for them.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions released the following statement Friday:

“The Department of Justice fully supports Texas’s effort and is participating in this lawsuit because of the strong federal interest in facilitating the state and local cooperation that is critical in enforcing our nation’s immigration laws.”

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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