Harris County attorney files declaration against SB4

In the city of Houston alone, estimates show there are 500,000 undocumented people.

The immigrants rights group FIEL says 85 percent of them are mixed status families with mainly parents being illegal while the children are born in the United States. The fear of those families in this current climate being separated by deportation.

Cesar Espinosa with FIEL says, "there are families here, they're going to school here and they're living everyday lives and the rug could be swept from under their feet."

The dread of separating families is why Harris County attorney Vince Ryan has filed a declaration in Federal Court to stop SB4, Texas' controversial immigration law. 

Tiffany Reedy with the Harris County Attorney's office says, "Senate Bill 4 is going to force more American children whose parents are undocumented into the Foster Care system." 

One of the key points the county attorney makes is because his office represents CPS in Harris County, under SB 4, they would be required to divide families rather than reunite them. The means if undocumented parents who have children are deported, then those kids become the taxpayers' burden. 

"In this county after we actually take custody of children in those cases then the county and the state have to pay for these children to live in a foster care system," says Reedy.

The County Attorney's office also says there won't likely be an alternative to foster care because the children who are US citizens won't be released to their parents in Mexico because it's not considered suitable.  Extended family will also likely be ruled out.   

Reedy says, "we need people to act as placement for children who are relatives, and those folk are not going to come forward if they believe if ICE is in the courtroom." 

The constitutionality of SB4 will be argued Monday in federal court in San Antonio.