United Fort Worth, an activist group that has urged the city to join a lawsuit against the Texas “sanctuary cities” law, has now filed its own support of the lawsuit.
The group announced Wednesday that it filed an amicus brief in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that Senate Bill 4 will “jeopardize the safety of Texans, both immigrants and non-immigrants,” a news release said.
“We want to ensure the concerns of Fort Worth are heard by those considering the case,” United Fort Worth co-founder Daniel Garcia Rodriguez said in a statement.
Thirteen other community activist groups signed the brief opposing SB4, which was temporarily blocked by a federal judge days before it was scheduled to go into effect Sept. 1.
The law would give law enforcement officers authority to ask about a person’s immigration status during routine police interactions such as traffic stops. It also requires police chiefs and sheriffs to comply with federal requests to hold criminal suspects for deportation or face large fines.
San Antonio, Dallas, Houston and Austin joined a lawsuit against the law. Fort Worth City Council members in August voted 5-4 against joining the lawsuit, despite several rallies by United Fort Worth.
“I believe Fort Worth is a compassionate city,” Mayor Betsy Price said after the vote. “The city has nothing to gain by committing resources” to joining the lawsuit. “I will work every day to bring Fort Worth together. Calling people names and threatening people will only divide people. We will work on this.”
This report contains information from the Star-Telegram archives.