Colleyville, TX August 14, 2017–
Today, Sen. Konni Burton (R) issued the following statement on the proposal before the Fort Worth City Council to join the lawsuit against Senate Bill 4 (SB 4):
“As a coauthor of SB 4, I am proud of the recent work of the Texas Legislature to prohibit so-called local “sanctuary” policies, which undermine the enforcement of our federal immigration laws and unnecessarily risk the safety of our local communities. Protecting our national border and providing a sane, rational system of immigration is the responsibility of our federal government. Unfortunately, for decades the federal government has failed in this endeavor and one of the consequences of this failure is that millions of people who do not have legal status are residing in our nation and our state. 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. These are serious numbers, representing real victims, and the state government has a constitutional duty to promote public safety.
The misinformation being spread about SB 4 by its opponents is extremely disheartening. For many Texas communities, including in Tarrant County, the statewide policies implemented by this bill are extremely similar or identical to longstanding local policies. 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.
SB 4 is a commonsense policy that better promotes public safety for all Texans. While I absolutely respect the Fort Worth City Council debating this proposal, I would encourage the 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.”