FORT WORTH, Texas - Protestors marched through downtown Fort Worth Tuesday afternoon to try to convince city leaders to join a lawsuit against the state’s new sanctuary cities law.
The law allows law enforcement officers to ask about the immigration status of anyone who is detained. That could be during a traffic stop.
The Fort Worth city council discussed the sanctuary cities law on Tuesday, but no vote was made.
"From the economics of it, there's no free lunch. Can't do it pro bono,” said Fort Worth Council Member Cary Moon. “There are clerk fees, also a fear these other cities could be counter sued by the state."
"Because of the defects that I see on a constitutional basis with this law, I think Fort Worth ought to join the lawsuit,” said Fort Worth Council Member Carlos Flores.
The group United Fort Worth led the demonstration to urge city leaders to join the lawsuit with Dallas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio.
Protestors say the law would make people afraid to report crimes and encourage racial profiling.
“My parents were fearful of being discriminated and effected by pieces of legislation like this. I think there’s a lot of families that feel this way. So I think it’s up to us to stand up for them and support all our families,” said Daniel Garcia Rodriguez, the co-founder of United Fort Worth.
Gov. Greg Abbott argued the purpose of the law was to identify and remove criminal aliens from the streets, not to detain hard working families or innocent children.
“I appreciate the strong support this law has received from so many sheriffs across the state,” Abbott said.
Eighteen Texas sheriffs are now part of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement program to check the citizenship of inmates in county jails. The program trains law enforcement to hold inmates until federal agents decide whether or not to deport them.
Sixty departments across the country are partners with ICE.