The law would require local governments to detain immigrants arrested for crimes in their jurisdiction until federal deportation agents could take custody.
This presents a problem for towns near the Mexican border, which face harsh penalties if authorities in those areas do not comply with the new law.
Police would face misdemeanor charges, elected officials could be fired and local governments could be fined up to $25,500 per day for non compliance.
Many believe this law amounts to racial profiling, and a large group of immigration advocates worry it could set a negative precedent for the rest of the country:
“This feels like an attack on Latinos,” Delia Garza, the first Latina member of the Austin City Council, said in an interview.
Garza further described immigration as “the civil rights issue of our generation.”
All three of Texas’ largest cities oppose the bill, as well as civil rights groups, like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Other plaintiffs in the recent cases include a former border patrol agent, the city of Dallas and El Paso County.