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Legal Challenge To Sanctuary Cities Law Says It Usurps Rights Of Local Communities Like El Cenizo

Town of El Cenizo
The border town of El Cenizo on the banks for the Rio Grande River has become the centerpiece of a lawsuit challenging Texas' new sanctuary cities statute.

Within hours of Gov. Greg Abbott signing the sanctuary cities ban in Texas lawsuits began to fly.  Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the first one asking the federal courts to declare the new law constitutional. Then LULAC – the League of United Latin American Citizens – the tiny border town of El Cenizo and other plaintiffs, filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the sanctuary cities ban from being enforced. 

Among its many provisions the legislation passed by Republican legislators in Austin would allow local police in Texas to ask people during routine stops whether they're in the country legally. Local officials who refuse to enforce federal immigration requests could be jailed or fined.

Texas Public Radio’s Shelley Kofler talked with LULAC attorney Luis Vera about the lawsuit he’s filed against the Governor and Attorney General, and why the suit maintains the new law, scheduled to go into effect September 1, is unconstitutional.  

Shelley Kofler is Texas Public Radio’s news director. She joined the San Antonio station in December 2014 and leads a growing staff that produces two weekly programs; a daily talk show, news features, reports and online content. Prior to TPR, Shelley served as the managing editor and news director at KERA in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.