Civil rights organization files lawsuit against Senate Bill 4
Since Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 4 into law on May 7, three lawsuits have been filed against it.
One of them was filed Monday, May 22, by the Texas Civil Rights Project and the city of El Paso.
"Our client is the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund, and we have sued on their behalf the state of Texas alleging that SB4 is unconstitutional for a number of reasons," said Texas Civil Rights Project Racial and Economic Justice Director Efren Olivares. "For example, it violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. constitution, because it was enacted with discriminatory intent and it will have a desperate impact on Latino immigrants."
Although Rio Grande Valley elected officials have not joined the lawsuit, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño J.R. told CBS 4 News he does not support SB4.
"As a Hispanic, or Mexican American, or Latino whatever the latest term of art is-- I think we are all very, very concerned that there could be, and more than likely there will be abuse, and if nothing else, it will be an excuse for less than positive behavior," Treviño said.
Olivares said he doesn't expect any Valley elected official or law enforcement personnel to fight against the state, because he understands many fear losing state funding.
"While I, as an attorney, don't feel that you can threaten if you withhold funding in another area-- if you don't do this, I don't believe that is going to pass constitutional muster," said Treviño. "But I can't act on my own as county judge where I have to act through the commissioners court, and by the same token, every dollar that we get from the state is critical to providing those services to our constituents."
Treviño said the Cameron County commissioners have not discussed filing a lawsuit against SB4.