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Dallas Will Join Texas Cities In Legal Fight Against State's Immigration Law

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon
KUT News
Demonstrators gather at the Capitol to protest Senate Bill 4, which the House was set to debate on April 26, 2017. The bill would penalize so-called sanctuary cities.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings announced Wednesday afternoon that the city will join the legal fight to stop Senate Bill 4, the state's new immigration policy that bans so-called "sanctuary cities." 

Dallas joins a handful of Texas cities, including San Antonio and Austin, suing the state over the bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott on May 7.

The bill, schedule to take effect Sept. 1, allows officers to question the immigration status of people. It also punishes officials who don’t cooperate with federal immigration agents. 

In a statement, the Rawlings says the bill is unconstitutional and would infringe upon the city’s ability to protect public safety. 

A San Antonio federal district court announced Wednesday it would consolidate several lawsuits against the bill and designate the city of El Cenizo as the lead plaintiff, The Dallas Morning News reports.

A hearing in that case is set for June 26.

lawsuit filed last week by San Antonio, the Workers Defense Project and the Mexican Legal Defense and Education Fund alleges that if the bill is enacted, it will violate the First, Fourth and 14th Amendments. The City of Austin later joined the lawsuit, which names Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton as defendants. 

El Cenizo in Webb County as well as Maverick and El Paso counties have also filed legal challenges to the bill as well, the Texas Tribune reports.

Earlier this week the American Civil Liberties Union filed a motion asking a federal district court in San Antonio to "fast-track a ruling on the constitutionality" of the bill.