Austin and other cities unite to oppose SB4 in court

Austin City Council Member Delia Garza speaks for the council against SB4. (Photo: CBS Austin)

Debate over the new state ban on so-called "sanctuary cities" is promising to heat up this summer. Some opponents are already calling for "a summer of resistance."

This all started as a squabble between the governor and the Travis County sheriff over voluntary requests from federal immigration authorities. But that grew into a new state law which affects all local governments across Texas.

Today those local governments-- including Austin-- announced here at the state capitol they're uniting to fight the law. Austin City Council Member Greg Casar says, "We're sending a strong message today alongside community organizations which is instead of caving in, the governor is going to get a summer of resistance!"

Most of the Austin City Council was at the announcement at the Texas Capitol, united against the new law. Council Member Delia Garza said, “Our state has enacted a racist and hate-filled law that will tear families apart and make our community less safe. This is unacceptable and I'm thankful for so many standing here today to fight for our community."

And we'll see more signs of this fight soon. Garza added, “This Thursday we are poised to approve a resolution that directs our city legal team to take any legal action necessary to challenge this awful law."

Austin Mayor Steve Adler maintains the cities have the full backing of their police on this issue. He says, “The police chiefs of all the major cities in our state came up to the legislature and said don't pass this law."

And he's looking forward to see this debate move into the courts. "i am really excited to leave the political process and get into court where truth and law rather than politics will hold the day," he said.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxson hopes to get ahead of the legal challenges by asking federal courts to declare SB4 constitutional. The cities plan to fight that, too.