With the Fort Worth City Council poised to consider joining a lawsuit protecting sanctuary cities, the area’s state senator is defending the “commonsense policy” adopted by lawmakers earlier this year.
City council members are expected to consider a proposal in which Fort Worth would join other cities in opposing Senate Bill 4, which banned sanctuary cities in Texas. Tarrant County Republican State Sen. Konni Burton, a co-author of SB4, says the measure was designed to protect Texans from violent criminals.
“In the past six years, individuals without legal status have been charged with more than 566,000 crimes in Texas alone, including some of the most serious offenses in state law,” said Burton in a statement issued by her office Monday morning. “These are serious numbers, representing real victims, and the state government has a constitutional duty to promote public safety.”
Burton decried “misinformation” being spread by SB4’s opponents.
At its simplest, SB 4 requires local entities, such as county jails, to comply with detainer requests, which are requests from the federal government to maintain temporary custody of an individual so federal immigration authorities can determine if further action is required. SB 4 does not grant police the ability to detain or arrest an individual based solely on the suspicion they are undocumented. SB 4 does not mandate police to inquire into the immigration status of any individual. And SB 4 certainly has nothing to do with deportation, as the state does not have the power to deport anyone. What SB 4 does do is prohibit racial profiling by police and prohibit police from inquiring into the immigration status of a victim of crime or a witness of crime in almost all circumstances–a first in Texas history.
Burton said she encourages “members of the council who share my support of SB 4 to stand firm and know that as your State Senator representing much of Fort Worth, I am with you.”