Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a proactive lawsuit asking a federal court to uphold the constitutionality of the State’s new sanctuary city law.
“SB 4 is constitutional, lawful and a vital step in securing our borders,” General Paxton said in a written statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “SB 4 guarantees cooperation among federal, state and local law enforcement to protect Texans. Unfortunately, some municipalities and law enforcement agencies are unwilling to cooperate with the federal government and claim that SB 4 is unconstitutional.”
“This is a public safety issue that requires swift resolution,” the Texas AG explained. “If a Texas sheriff or other law enforcement authority cannot lawfully honor an ICE detainer, dangerous people will slip through the cracks of the justice system and back into our communities. As a nation of laws, it is imperative that SB 4 is fully honored in Texas.”
Named as defendants in the lawsuit are Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez (in her official capacity); the City of Austin, Ora Houston, Delia Garza, Sabino Renteria, Gregoria Casar, Ann Kitchen, Jimmy Flannigan, Leslie Pool, Ellen Troxclair, Kathie Tovo, and Alison Alter, all in their official capacities as city council members of Austin; Steve Alder in his official capacity as mayor of Austin; Elaine Hart, in her official capacity as interim city manager of Austin; and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF).
The AG said he is filing the lawsuit to “defend the right and duty of law enforcement agencies throughout Texas to detain individuals pursuant to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) federal detainer program.” Paxton said the federal immigration program is designed to remove dangerous criminals and stop their release into communities across the state.
“Texas possesses an independent sovereign responsibility to protect the health, welfare, and safety of its residents,” Paxton continued. “Texas, cognizant of this duty, recently enacted SB 4 to set a state-wide policy of cooperation with federal immigration authorities.”
The lawsuit is being filed under the Declaratory Judgement Act and seeks to avoid a multitude of lawsuits in a variety of venues. The AG seeks to resolve the issue of constitutionality through a single court.
In the complaint filed in the Western District of Texas, the State asks that the court enter a judgment declaring that SB4 is valid under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and is not preempted by federal law and for any other relief the State may be entitled to under the law.