1st Amendment Worries: Latino Elected Officials Take Aim at Texas ‘anti-sanctuary' Law

Texas' tough new immigration law was in sharp focus as a national convention of Latino elected officials opened Thursday in Dallas.At a Thursday hotel luncheon with a red “No on SB4” buttons at every plate, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials overwhelmingly adopted a resolution condemning the bill that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law May 7 to keep Texans "safe" by keeping “dangerous criminals” off the streets.Texas politicians or law enforcement officials can face removal from office if they “endorse a policy” that prohibits or materially limits enforcement of immigration laws.The law takes effect Sept. 1 but is being challenged as unconstitutional by a growing list of elected officials, counties and cities, including Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Austin and El Cenizo. A hearing will be held Monday morning in San Antonio on an injunction to temporarily stop enforcement of the law.State Rep. Ana Hernandez, D-Houston, is scheduled to testify at that hearing. The provisions for law enforcement already have reduced reports of crime in Houston, she said, citing police data.Hernandez, one of more than 1,000 guests at the convention, said the law’s penalties for “endorsing” certain positions on immigration go too far.“Endorsing is a very vague term,” said Hernandez, also an attorney. “That puts local entities at risk of being in violation of the legislation for simply expressing their point of view on the policy.”  Continue reading...

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