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Lawsuits piling up against Texas after Governor Abbott signs new migration law

Update: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas and the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) also are also suing over SB4.

The ACLU of Texas issued the following statement on the new law.

“We’re suing to block one of the most extreme anti-immigrant bills in the country. The bill overrides bedrock constitutional principles and flouts federal immigration law while harming Texans, in particular Brown and Black communities. Time and time again, elected officials in Texas have ignored their constituents and opted for white supremacist rhetoric and mass incarceration instead. The state wastes billions of taxpayer dollars on failed border policies and policing that we could spend on education, better infrastructure, and better health care. Texans deserve better and we’re holding Texas politicians accountable to make sure this law never goes into effect.”

Adriana Piñon, legal director of the ACLU of Texas

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- El Paso County Commissioners unanimously voted Monday to direct county staff to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state border security bill in co-council with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

This comes hours after Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill into law. Senate Bill 4, or SB4, gives local law enforcement the power to arrest and order migrants to leave the United States. The bill goes into effect in March.

While some support the bill, others criticize it saying it will lead to racial profiling, mostly affecting Texans. 

Precinct 2 Commissioner, David Stout, said he estimates an additional 8,000 to 10,000 arrests in the area once it goes into effect. He said it could cost the county millions, possibly leading to the build of a new jail.

Stout said he estimates the cost at $250 million dollars, with an additional $40 to $50 million a year in jail costs.

"We just don't have the resources in this community to be able to foot that type of bill," said Stout.

Commissioner Stout said about 88,000 people were arrested by DPS last year as part of Operation Lone Star.

"If all of those people had to be thrown in our county jails, we don't even have that many beds in the state of Texas," he said.

"Our taxpayers are the ones being burdened with these expenses and this myopic operation, and the law that the state has placed on us, is going to incur a lot more responsibility in terms of the funding for border communities and even more so for El Paso," said Precinct 4 Commissioner, Sergio Coronado.

Article Topic Follows: On the Border

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Brianna Perez


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