Houston City Council is scheduled to vote Wednesday on the mayor's request to join a lawsuit challenging Texas' new anti-sanctuary cities law.
Senate Bill 4 would punish local officials who ignore federal detainers for illegal aliens. It goes into effect in September, but several Texas cities claim the law is unconstitutional.
“This issue has to be decided in the courts, that's simply where it has to go,” says Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen.
The Distict C council member also believes the law will scare away possible witnesses to crime. “Maybe some of those people don't have documentation and consequently may be frightened to report what they saw.”
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has ordered the Department of Justice to enter the case against El Cenizo and to file a brief and a statement of interest in support of the state of Texas, asking the federal courts to deny the motion for preliminary injunction.
It's unclear whether there's enough support on city council to move forward with the lawsuit. “I would like to think there are enouch council members who see this being a civil rights, human rights kind of thing,” says Cohen.