#StopSB4

Background

On May 7th, Texas’ Governor, Greg Abbott, signed SB 4 into law. SB 4 is the most discriminatory  piece of anti-immigrant legislation in the United States. SB 4 is currently scheduled to go into effect in September 2017. The bill makes Texas less safe by encouraging racial profiling and forcing local police to act as federal immigration agents.

SB 4 is a grave threat to immigrant families and multi-cultural communities across Texas. In order to continue our fight for immigrants’ rights in Texas,  TCRP, along with our allies, filed litigation challenging SB 4 on May 22, 2017.

TCRP is committed to bringing national awareness to this discriminatory legislation and working to build the capacity of grassroots organizers and other advocates in Texas working to resist the law.

Our lawsuit:

TCRP began litigation against SB4 seeking a declaration that it is unconstitutional and to prevent it from going into force. 

 

We filed suit on behalf of the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund, in partnership with El Paso County and its sheriff, against the State of Texas, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and Director Steve McCraw of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

SB4 violates the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, as well as the Texas Constitution. The legal grounds for our lawsuit are the following violations:

1

SB4 discriminates against Latinos, Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, Hispanics, and people of color in general, and immigrants of all backgrounds.

2

SB4 does not give adequate notice about how it is to be implemented.

3

SB4 is likely to result in unlawful arrests when no probable cause exists.

4

Civil immigration laws are the competence of federal immigration authorities, not local law enforcement agencies.

5

SB4 seeks to punish elected officials and law enforcement leaders for making certain public statements regarding their policies.

6

SB 4 violates the Texas Constitution because it tells local law enforcement agencies, including university police, how to run their departments and forces them to enforce federal civil immigration laws. 

Get the facts:

SB4 Will Harm Public Safety

 

We rely on all members of our community — regardless of race, religion or national origin — to report crimes. We cannot drive crime victims and witnesses into the shadows without undermining local public safety.  Already, police chiefs and sheriffs in Harris and Travis counties are reporting drops in crime reporting among Latino communities.

 

SB 4 includes a “Show us your papers” provision that will lead to racial profiling

 

Like Arizona’s notorious SB 1070, Texas legislators included a “show me your papers” provision to SB 4. This new law promotes racial profiling based on appearance, background, language and accent that will affect U.S. citizens and immigrants alike — in a state where 38.8% of the population is of Hispanic origin, according to the U.S. Census.

 

SB4 takes authority away from local law enforcement.

 

SB 4 assumes that the state government knows the needs of communities better than locally elected sheriffs. SB 4 would perpetuate instability by making it impossible for law enforcement officials to effectively direct and manage our deputies. Texas communities each have unique public safety and law enforcement needs that should not be undermined by state, unfunded mandates as authored in Senate Bill 4.

SB 4 is the result of anti-immigrant grandstanding from the federal government.

 

This bill is a result of anti-immigrant grandstanding and will strip local law enforcement of our designated power and ability to protect and serve our communities. Anti-immigrant rhetoric from the federal government has emboldened Texas lawmakers to pursue policies which harm immigrants and their families and do nothing for public safety.

 

SB 4 forces cities, counties, campus police to carry out the responsibilities of the federal government.

 

In 2016 alone, Texas county compliance with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers cost local taxpayers $61 million. Despite the federal government’s promises, they have only reimbursed a tiny fraction of the costs to local communities and counties. Ultimately, it is our local taxpayers that will pay even more for this unfunded state mandate. SB 4 robs our local communities of local tax dollars while hampering our ability to allocate our scarce resources to protect our communities from the largest threats facing our local neighborhoods and populations. Importantly, our federal laws mandate that the federal government is responsible for enforcing immigration laws. SB4 forces cities, counties and even university campus police to act as immigration agents on a daily basis.

Legal & Policy Resources:

SB4 has triggered a number of lawsuits in Texas, as well as many arguments against the policies included in it. Below, find an archive of lawsuits filed since the bill was signed into law, as well as several statements describing the harm SB4 will do to our communities from sheriffs and other community groups.

Lawsuit: Texas v. Travis County, Texas et al.

May 7, 2017
Less than 24 hours after Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed SB4 into law, Texas filed a lawsuit against Travis County, Sheriff Sally Hernandez, the City of Austin, Austin city council members, Mayor Steve Adler, Interim City Manager Elaine Hart and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading the suit and claiming these defendants are “publicly hostile to cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.”
Click here to read the Complaint for Declaratory Judgment

 

May 24, 2017
The City of Austin filed a motion to dismiss Texas’s lawsuit, arguing that it was filed before the law went into effect, and that the state did not show that the city has violated the constitution in any way.
Click here to read the Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction

 

The state moved to consolidate the City of El Cenizo, et al. v. Texas, et al. case pending in the San Antonio Division of the court with this case in the Austin Division. The state argues that the San Antonio Division is the improper place for the case.
Click here to read the Opposed Motion to Consolidate Cases

 

May 26, 2017
Travis County and the Travis County Sheriff, Sally Hernandez filed a motion to dismiss Texas’s lawsuit arguing that the state failed to properly invoke the Court’s jurisdiction because the relief sought is not appropriate and the state does not have standing to pursue the relief it seeks.
Click here to read the Amended Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction

 

May 31, 2017
The state of Texas expanded its litigation by amending its original complaint to add several new defendants. In addition to the already existing defendants, Texas added El Paso County, El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles, the City of El Cenizo, Mayor Raul Reyes of El Cenizo, Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber, Maverick County Constable Mario Hernandez, as well as the civil rights groups, the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund.
Click here to read the Amended Complaint

 

June 1, 2017
The state moved to consolidate the El Paso County, et al v. Texas, et al. case pending in the San Antonio Division of the court with this case in the Austin Division. The state argues that since it first-filed the case in the Austin Division, the Court should consolidate that case with this one.
Click here to read the Opposed Motion to Consolidate Cases

 

June 8, 2017
The state moved to consolidate this case with the three recently consolidated cases pending in the Court’s San Antonio Division – City of El Cenizo, Texas, et al. v. State of Texas et al.; El Paso County et al. v. The State of Texas et al.; and City of San Antonio, Texas et al. v. The State of Texas, et al.
Click here to read the Motion to Consolidate and Request for Expedited Ruling

 

June 8, 2017
Defendant, City of Austin, replied to the Motion to Dismiss filed by State of Texas, Plaintiff.  Texas has failed to establish subject matter jurisdiction. The City requests that the Court grant its Motion to Dismiss.

Click here to read the reply.

 

Defendants Travis County and the City of Austin ask the Court to deny Plaintiff, State of Texas Motion to Consolidate.
Click here to read the joint response.

 

MALDEF asks the Court to deny the Motion to Consolidate
Click here to read the opposed motion to consolidate.

 

June 9, 2017
Travis County provides Advisory to the Court regarding the consolidated cases in the City of San Antonio v. State of Texas.
Click here to read the Advisory

 

June 12, 2017
Defendants Travis County, Sheriff Sally Hernandez, and City of Austin’s Joint Response to Plaintiffs’ to Consolidate and Request for Expedited Ruling
Click here to read the Joint Response

 

June 29, 2017
Plaintiffs ask the Court to grant its motion to dismiss because Texas has failed to establish an injury in fact
Click here to read the motion to dismiss.

 

Defendants ask the Court to grant their Motion to Dismiss
Click here to read the amended motion to dismiss.

 

Defendants request the Court dismiss or transfer complaint to San Antonio
Click here to read the memorandum.

 

July 12, 2017
Plaintiffs argue that Defendants’ motions to dismiss should be denied and that SB 4’s constitutionality should be addressed in the Austin Division.
Click here to read the response.

 

July 19, 2017
Texas Organizing Project Education Fund’s Reply to Response to Motion to Dismiss
Click here to read the reply.

Lawsuit: City of El Cenizo, Texas, et al. v. State of Texas

May 8, 2017
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) filed the first lawsuit against SB4 on behalf of a small town near the border with Mexico called El Cenizo, which has had a “safe haven” ordinance since 1999 that prohibits city employees from asking about immigration status. The plaintiffs amended their complaint on May 18, 2017. The plaintiffs further amended their complaint on June 8, 2017.
Click here to read the Amended Complaint
Click here to read the Second Amended Complaint

 

May 24, 2017
The state moved to transfer this case from the San Antonio Division of the Court to the Austin Division where its own case Texas v. Travis County, Texas, et al. is pending.
Click here to read the Opposed Motion to Transfer

 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas filed to appear as counsel on this case on behalf of the plaintiffs.
Click here to read the Appearance of Counsel

 

May 31, 2017
The plaintiffs in the case moved to oppose the state’s attempt to transfer the case to the Austin Division of the Court.
Click here to read the Response to the Opposed Motion to Transfer

 

June 5, 2017
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Texas filed the first motion to block SB4 before it takes effect through a preliminary injunction on behalf of the plaintiffs in the case. The ACLU argues that SB4 should be blocked because it pre-empts federal immigration law, is “unconstitutionally vague” and violates the First, Fourth and 10th Amendments.
Click here to read the Application for Preliminary Injunction

 

June 8, 2017
The State of Texas filed a Motion to Dismiss or Transfer the consolidated cases.
Click here to read the Motion to Dismiss

 

June 8, 2017
Intervenors Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt and Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez submitted an application to intervene due to their interest in the subject matter of the lawsuit.
Click here to read the opposed motion to intervene

 

June 12, 2017
The Court grants the City of Austin’s motion to intervene as Plaintiff.
Click here to read the order.

 

June 16, 2017
The City of Dallas files a motion to intervene as Plaintiff.  Dallas asserts that SB4 in unconstitutional under the US and Texas Constitutions.
Click here to read the motion.

 

June 19, 2017
Consolidated Plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunction
Click here to read the complaint.

 

Several plaintiffs filed motions for preliminary injunctions:
San Antonio (memo in support) | El Paso County | Austin | Intervenors

 

The City of Austin filed a motion for Judicial Notice to allow facts from reliable sources to be introduced into evidence
Click here to read the motion.

 

June 20, 2017
The opposed motion to dismiss the consolidated cases will be placed on hold pending subject matter jurisdiction.
Click here to read the order.

 

The City of Dallas filed a motion to intervene as plantiff.
Click here to read the motion.

 

Travis County, Judge Sarah Eckhardt, Sheriff Sally Hernandez, and City of Austin’s Motion to Intervene is granted.
Click here to read the order.

 

June 21, 2017
Defendants request that case be transferred to the Court’s Austin Division because basis of claims occurred within confines of the Austin Division.
Click here to read the motion.

 

El Paso Plaintiffs request that claims be dismissed or case transferred to Austin Division to be consolidated with case no. 1:17-CV-00425.
Click here to read the motion.

 

The U.S. intends to file a Statement of Interest that will address whether SB 4 can be displaced by federal law or is inconsistent with the Tenth Amendment or whether SB 4 can be struck down can be struck down under Fourth Amendment.
Click here to read the notice.

 

June 22, 2017
Texas Association of Hispanic County Judges and County Commissioners move to intervene as a matter of interest in the original suit
Click here to read the motion and memorandum.

 

Defendant, Texas requests that Travis County’s claims be dismissed or transferred to the Austin Division for consolidation with Case No. 1:17-CV-425.
Click here to read the motion.

 

Plaintiffs present their list of witnesses for the June 26 hearing for preliminary injunction.
Click here to read the list.

 

Defendants’ Reply in Support of their Motion to Dismiss or Transfer case to the Austin Division based on proper venue and First to File Rule.
Click here to read the reply.

 

June 23, 2017
Defendants argue that Dallas’s Motion to intervene should be denied
Click here to read the response.

 

U.S. argues that the Court rejects Plaintiffs’ challenges to SB 4
Click here to read the statement.

 

Defendants state that Plaintiffs’ motions for preliminary injunction be denied
Click here to read the response.

 

Defendants ask the Court to not to take judicial notice of the Pew Research Center report.
Click here to read the response.

 

Court Grants the City of Dallas’s Motion to Intervene as Plaintiff.
Click here to read the order.

 

Intervenor City of Dallas’s allegations against Defendants.
Click here to read the complaint.

 

City of Austin files Angelos G. Angelou’s declaration in support of injunction.
Click here to read the notice.

 

Parties provide advisory to the Court on estimated hearing time, evidence, witnesses, and exhibits.
Click here to read the advisory.

 

Houston files Motion to Intervene as Plaintiff.
Click here to read the motion.

 

Anti-Defamation League asks to become an impartial adviser because the work it has done with local entities to create an environment of tolerance with community will be threatened by SB 4.
Click here to read the motion.

 

 

June 24, 2017
Defendants have amended their initial Exhibit List
Click here to read the amended list.

 

 

June 26, 2017
Vince Ryan claims that SB 4 will cause child abuse to go unreported
Click here to read the declaration.

 

El Paso’s exhibit list from Preliminary Injunction Hearing
Click here to read the exhibit list.

 

Plaintiffs submit their exhibits for the preliminary injunction hearing
Click here to read the exhibit list.

 

Defendants submit their exhibits for the preliminary injunction hearing
Click here to read the exhibit list.

 

 

June 27, 2017
Anti-Defamation League states that law enforcements’ cooperation and trustworthiness within immigrant communities will be tarnished.
Click here to read the Amicus Curiae

 

June 29, 2017
Defendants argue that the San Antonio Division is the improper venue for the case.
City of DallasPlaintiff-Intervenors | El Paso County 

 

Defendants ask the Court to dismiss Plaintiffs’ motion for improper venue.
Click here to read the proposed order.

 

Defendants argue that the City of Houston’s motions to intervene be denied, the cases should be dismissed or transferred to the Austin Division.
Click here to read the response. 

 

Defendants argue that the motions to intervene should be denied and the consolidated cases should be dismissed or transferred to the Austin Division.
Click here to read the response. 

 

Defendant asks the Court to dismiss Travis County Plaintiff’s Complaint in Intervention or transfer the complaint to the Austin Division
Click here to read the proposed order. 

 

Defendant asks the Court to dismiss City of Dallas’s Complaint in Intervention or transfer the complaint to the Austin Division
Click here to read the proposed order. 

 

Defendants ask the Court to deny the Texas Association of Hispanic County Judges and County Commissioners’s motion and memorandum in support of intervention.
Click here to read the proposed order. 

 

Defendants ask the Court to deny the City of Houston’s opposed motion to intervene.
Click here to read the proposed order.

 

Immigration Reform Law Institute states their reasons why Plaintiffs’ Application for Preliminary Injunction should be denied
Read the brief of amicus curiae.

 

June 30, 2017
Court grants City of Houston’s motion to intervene as plaintiff
Click here to read the order. 

 

Houston files its Complaint in Intervention and states several arguments in support
Click here to read the complaint.

 

Court allows parties to submit supplemental briefs and describes in detail the requirements
Click here to read the order.
The Court grants Texas Association of  Hispanic County Judges and County Commissioners Motion to Intervene as Plaintiffs
Click here to read the order.
Texas Association of  Hispanic County Judges and County Commissioners file their complaint and provide several arguments in support
Click here to read the complaint.
July 10
Travis County Plaintiff-Intervenors request that the Court grant their application for Preliminary Injunction.
Plaintiffs provide reasons for the Court to enjoin SB 4 in its entirety.
Click here to read the brief.
The City of Houston requests that the Court enter a preliminary injunction barring Texas from enforcing SB4.
Plaintiffs provide reasons for requesting that the Court enjoin the State from enforcing SB 4 in its entirety.
City of Dallas requests that the Court grant the Plaintiffs’ applications for preliminary injunction and enjoin the implementation of SB4.

Vince Ryan et al. submit Motion to file Amicus Brief which details the ways in which children involved in the child welfare system will be irreparably harmed if SB 4 takes effect.
Click here to read the amended motion and brief.

 

Plaintiffs ask that the application for a preliminary injunction should be granted.
Click here to read the brief.

July 12, 2017
Plaintiffs submit Amended Supplemental Exhibit List and Exhibits
Click here to read the exhibit list.
July 13, 2017
The City of Dallas asks the Court to deny Defendants’ motion to dismiss or transfer that the Court grant the City of Dallas relief .
Click here to read the response.

July 14, 2017
Defendants request that the City of Houston’s claims be dismissed or transferred to the Austin Division.
Click here to read the motion.

Defendants request that the claims be dismissed or transferred to the Austin Division.
Click here to read the motion.

 July 17, 2017
Chiefs Association, Police Research Forum, and Conference of Mayors file Amici Brief in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction.
Harris County Attorney files Amicus Brief in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction.
Defendants’ Response in Opposition to Motion to Dismiss Texas Association of Hispanic County Judges and County Commissioners Complaint in Intervention
Lawsuit: El Paso County, et al. v. State of Texas, et al.

May 22, 2017
The Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) filed a lawsuit against SB4 on behalf of the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund (TOPEF) and in partnership with El Paso County and Richard Wiles, the sheriff of El Paso County, challenging SB4 on a number of grounds — that it violates the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, as well as the Texas Constitution.
Click here to read the Complaint
Click here to read the Amended Complaint

 

June 1, 2017
The state moved to transfer this case from the San Antonio Division of the Court to the Austin Division where its own case Texas v. Travis County, Texas, et al. is pending.
Click here to read the Opposed Motion to Transfer

 

June 6, 2017
The pleadings in the cases involve the same issues of law and most of the defendants are the same. Therefore, the Court ordered that all documents be filed under 5:17-CV-00404, City of El Cenizo v. State of Texas
Click here to read the order

Lawsuit: City of San Antonio, Texas, et al. v. State of Texas, et al.

June 2, 2017
The Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund (MALDEF) filed a lawsuit against SB4 on behalf of the City of San Antonio, Texas, San Antonio City Councilmember, Rey Saldaña, the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), and Workers Defense Project. The plaintiffs seek to get a declaratory judgment that SB 4, in its entirety, is unconstitutional and an injunction preventing state officials from enforcing the law.
Click here to read the Complaint

 

The City of Austin moved to enter this case as a plaintiff.

Click here to read the Opposed Motion to Intervene

 

June 6, 2017
The pleadings in the cases involve the same issues of law and most of the defendants are the same.  Therefore, the Court ordered that all documents be filed under 5;17-CV-0404, City of El Cenizo v. State of Texas.
Click here to read the order.

Statement: Texas Association of Counties against SB4

The Texas Conference of Urban Counties hand delivered this letter requesting the removal of section 1 of SB4 in February, on the basis that it puts local taxpayers at risk and adds nothing to public safety.
Click here to read the letter

Statement: Harris County Sheriff against SB4

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez wrote to the Senate Committee on State Affairs in opposition of Senate Bill 4 on the basis that it limits the ability to address local safety priorities and creates a climate of fear and suspicion.
Click here to read the letter

Statement: Bexar County Sheriff against SB4

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar wrote to the Bexar County Delegation in opposition of SB4’s policies on the basis that they undermine public trust between law enforcement and the immigrant community.
Click here to read the letter

Report: With S.B. 4, Texas Ignores the Lessons of Previous Anti-Immigrant Legislation

The Center for American Progress details in its report why SB4 is dangerous, what’s at stake, and how we must learn from the past mistakes of similar anti-immigrant legislation. Texas is a majority-minority state—meaning that, under S.B. 4, three of every five people in Texas will be at risk of being profiled based on the color of their skin.

 

Click here to read the report

Twitter Chat: #StopSB4

On June 21, 2017, we had a Twitter chat with RAICES, La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), Indivisible Austin, Jolt Texas, Grassroots Leadership and Workers Defense Project to discuss what SB4 is, why it matters and how to fight back.

 

Click here to read the chat.

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