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SB 4 hearing begins

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 by Elizabeth Pagano

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia heard arguments in a lawsuit filed by several Texas cities – including Austin – over the new “sanctuary cities” law, Senate Bill 4. Garcia is not expected to issue a ruling immediately. Though we stuck to monitoring Austin, our friends at KUT were able to follow the day’s proceedings. According to their report:

“Supporters argue SB 4 will increase public safety. Opponents say it violates the U.S. Constitution by threatening free speech and equal protection.

“Inside the courtroom, Judge Garcia asked how SB 4 would be enforced, for example, whether an officer could ask all passengers in a car about their immigration status and if local police could make immigration sweeps.

“The bill’s author, Republican state Sen. Charles Perry of Lubbock, said he’s confident it will pass constitutional muster.

“‘It’s going to be a real stretch to find an unconstitutional issue inside the bill because everything inside the bill is current law,’ he said. ‘We were just telling law enforcement officials they have to comply or cooperate.’

“Austin joined the suit, which was originally filed last month by the City of San Antonio, on June 2. Since then, Dallas and Houston have also signed on.”

For the full story, and analysis by KUT reporter Audrey McGlinchy, head over to KUT’s site now.

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