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ACLU Issues Travel Alert for State of Texas

FILE - Students gather in the Texas Capitol to oppose SB4, an anti-sanctuary-cities bill that seeks to jail sheriffs and other officials who refuse to help enforce federal immigration law, in Austin, Texas, April 26, 2017.

The American Civil Liberties Union has issued a travel alert for the U.S. state of Texas after a new law gives police the right to investigate a person's immigration status during routine traffic stops.

It is part of an overall law in Texas that takes effect in September banning sanctuary cities in the state — cities where local authorities limit their cooperation with federal immigration laws.

"Texas is a state with deep Mexican roots and home to immigrants from all walks of life," the ACLU's Lorella Praeli said Tuesday. "Many of us fit the racial profile that the police in Texas will use to enforce Trump's draconian force."

The ACLU says travelers to Texas — no matter where they are from — can anticipate that their constitutional rights might be violated. The ACLU calls the law "racist and wrongheaded" and says it will fight it in court.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says anyone not breaking the law has "nothing to worry about."

Texas lawmakers, including Republican Governor Greg Abbott, deny that giving police the power to ask about immigration status is racial profiling.

They say the law is aimed at keeping "criminals" off the streets.