San Antonio, TX – MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) on Monday asked a federal court to block Texas Senate Bill 4 from taking effect.

The request is intended to prevent Texans from being subject to the negative and punitive impact the law would bring about if it goes into effect as scheduled on Sept. 1. Among other harmful provisions, the law would allow local law enforcement authorities to ask, without training or cause, about the immigration status of individuals they stop. It would also curb free speech protections by allowing for the removal or prosecution of elected officials who oppose SB 4.

MALDEF sued Texas in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on behalf of the City of San Antonio, San Antonio Councilmember Rey A. Saldaña, the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, the Workers Defense Project and La Union Del Pueblo Entero, alleging the law violates the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, as well other constitutional and statutory provisions.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia will hear arguments on the motion to enjoin SB 4 on Monday, June 26th at 9:30 a.m. CDT. Please attribute the following statement on the motion for preliminary injunction to MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz.

“Texas SB 4 is an unprecedented state law that would license police officers and sheriff’s deputies to make their own individual decisions about whether and how to enforce federal immigration law – an area of law about which the officers are completely untrained – and further would threaten the officers’ supervisors, including police chiefs and sheriffs, with criminal prosecution and removal from office, to prevent them from providing guidance or limitation on what any individual officer chooses to do. Such a law raises a myriad of constitutional questions that should be resolved in a careful and deliberate manner in an appropriate court of law.

Because SB 4 would inflict grievous and irreparable harm on individuals and public officials, it should be barred from implementation until the law’s legality is determined. Therefore, MALDEF filed on Monday evening a request on behalf of its clients that SB 4 be barred from implementation while the federal court determines its constitutionality. We look forward to a hearing next Monday where the federal court may consider the wisdom of a preliminary injunction against SB 4, including evaluating its potential harms and the significant constitutional questions about its legality.”

Please attribute the following statement on the motion for preliminary injunction to Nina Perales, MALDEF vice president for litigation:

“SB4 is fatally flawed. By tying the hands of local police departments, SB 4 threatens the safety of all Texans – immigrants as well as those born in the U.S.”

Read the motion and declarations here.