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Updated at 4:43 p.m. Friday with more details.
AUSTIN — The state of Texas on Friday filed its first sanctuary cities lawsuit, against San Antonio, claiming that its police chief failed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities last December when he released 12 people suspected to be in the country illegally.
In a video statement, Attorney General Ken Paxton said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus ordered the release of the immigrants when his officers responded to a suspected human smuggling operation in the back of a tractor-trailer.
“A San Antonio police officer alerted federal immigration authorities, but Police Chief William McManus ordered the release of the immigrants in violation of Senate Bill 4,” Paxton said. “The immigrants were not turned over to Homeland Security despite its request.”
San Antonio City Attorney Andy Segovia said the city is reviewing the lawsuit, but was “fully confident that neither the City nor Chief McManus violated the applicable provisions of SB 4.”
“The Attorney General’s characterizations of what happened that day are clearly aimed at furthering a political agenda. The City has a long history of cooperating with federal authorities and we will continue to do so,” Segovia said. “The City’s process for handling human…