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Texas' new immigration bill faces constitutional challenge

Last month, we wrote about the newly passed "sanctuary city" ban, which requires local law enforcement officers to work in cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enforce federal immigration law. As we noted, one aspect of the law is that it allows peace officers to inquire about the immigration status of those who are detained or arrested.

Governor Gregg Abbot and his administration are not out of the woods yet with the bill, as there are groups looking to have it overturned in federal court as unconstitutional. Among them is the Austin City Attorneys' Office, who was set to join several nonprofit groups in a lawsuit challenging the bill. The group is claiming that the bill violates several Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. 

Constitutional challenges, of course, are also at the center of the ongoing legal challenges surrounding President Trump's immigration executive orders. In the case of the Texas' bill, opponents say that the central issue is that law enforcement officers will have too much power to decide whether and how they will enforce federal immigration law.

The bill is set to go into effect on September 1, so it remains to be seen whether the measure will ultimately have any impact. Should the legal challenges continue beyond that date and begin to be enforced, there will surely be immigrants in need to legal representation. This is particularly true of those who face deportation proceedings as a result of the measure. An experienced and committed immigration law attorney will bring the expertise to ensuring that such individuals have a fighting chance in protecting their rights. 

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