Texas Sheriffs: State Immigration Bill Would Hurt Our Ability to Protect and Serve

Communications Associate

April 25, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Law enforcement leaders are speaking out against immigration-related legislation scheduled for a vote Wednesday in the Texas House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) would punish cities, counties, law enforcement and university police departments with harsh civil and criminal penalties should they elect not to carry out federal immigration activities and enforcement, among other provisions. It would interfere with local law enforcement’s ability to create trusting relationships with immigrant communities, and it would force local jurisdictions to dedicate scarce resources to a job that is the federal government’s responsibility.

The Texas Senate passed SB 4 on Feb. 8 in a 20-10 vote.

In an Austin American-Statesman op-ed, Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar and El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles write about the bill’s undue burdens on local law enforcement and taxpayers.

“SB 4 robs our local communities of local tax dollars while hampering our ability to allocate our scarce resources to protect our communities from the largest threats facing our local neighborhoods and populations,” they write.

“ … This bill is a result of anti-immigrant grandstanding and will strip local law enforcement of our designated power and ability to protect and serve our communities. We ask that the Texas House of Representatives reject SB 4 and any initiative to force local law enforcement to carry out the responsibilities of the federal government.”