Laredo’s silly statement on SB 4, the sanctuary city ban

Robert Pratt photo Copyright Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt

According to the Laredo Morning Times, last week the City of Laredo issued a statement: “The City of Laredo is not a sanctuary city and has never claimed to be one.” But now Laredo police officials are claiming that the passage of SB 4, the ban on sanctuary cities in Texas, will “erode the public’s trust” in their local policing.

Either the Laredo police and civic leaders behind this statement are ignorant of what SB 4 entails or, they are manipulators comfortable pushing falsehoods to the public for political reasons.

The LMT story states that “the part that concerns [local] authorities deals with local police departments undertaking immigration duties during a lawful detention.” However the ban on sanctuary cities law doesn’t have Texas police “undertaking immigration duties.” The bill simply prohibits cities such as Laredo from adopting policies which prevent their police departments from cooperating with Federal immigration authorities.

image: Charles Perry

Sen. Charles Perry, SB 4’s author.

Laredo officials wonder “what the bill entails” and what training will be needed for local police officers. If they’d read it before putting out statements, they’d know what “the bill entails” and understand that it doesn’t require any particular training for police officers.

The bill is and has always been, a ban on local jurisdictions preventing police officers from doing what is already regular practice across the state. The primary focus of the bill doesn’t even affect cops on the beat, it mostly affects the back-end of the system related to those in jail and cooperation with the Feds on immigration detainer notices.

Read the bill, there is no “shall” directed at local police departments. Instead the language is “may not” as in may not adopt policies that prevent what is already legal and standard practice related to cooperation with Federal immigration authorities.

Again, either members of Laredo leadership are ignorant, or maybe not bright enough to understand simple language, or those folks behind the statement are simply engaging in fear tactics designed for manipulative political purposes.

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