Attorney General Paxton confident sanctuary city law will remain constitutional

Updated: May. 8, 2017 at 10:50 PM CDT
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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - After filing a lawsuit Monday asking the U.S. District Court to uphold the Texas Sanctuary City law, Attorney General Ken Paxton said he is confident that the law will remain constitutional. 

"We are very confident that we have a case we can win," said Paxton, who is in Tyler for a private dinner with members of Grassroots America- We The People. 

Senate Bill 4, which Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law on Sunday, allows for local law enforcement to question almost anyone about their immigration status, and creates a punishment for police officers and sheriffs who do not fully cooperate with federal immigration efforts. 

By filing for a declaratory judgment now, Paxton hopes to avoid becoming entangled in multiple lawsuits that are likely to be filed from across the state by resolving the issue in a single court. 

"We decided we'd rather have it in one place rather than in multiple lawsuits all over the state, and so Sunday evening we filed our lawsuit, and we look forward to adjudicating that very soon," Paxton said.

Opponents of the bill have voiced concern that it could lead to racial profiling by law enforcement officers, an allegation Paxton denied.

"The way the bill is written it doesn't require that law enforcement ask questions about immigration status, all it says is that elected officials cannot have a policy that tells law enforcement that they cannot ask questions about immigration status," he said. "There's no requirement that this be done, it's just opening the door so that they can ask about immigration status."

The law goes into effect on Sept. 1. 

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