AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Latino rights groups says it has filed what may be the first lawsuit challenging a new "sanctuary cities" ban in Texas that allows local police to ask a person during routine stops whether they're in the U.S legally.

Luis Vera is an attorney with the League of United Latin American Citizens. He says he filed the challenge Monday on behalf of a small town near the border with Mexico called El Cenizo, which has had a "safe haven" ordinance since 1999 that prohibits city employees from asking about a person's immigration status.

The ACLU and other groups have also pledged to fight Texas in court over the law signed Sunday by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. Texas has already asked a federal court to pre-emptively find that the law known as SB4 is constitutional.

Abbott says the ban is needed to keep immigrant criminals off the streets and will stand up in court.


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