AUSTIN - One by one, the sheriffs of six counties walk into a room full of cameras.
The sheriffs of Burnet, Kendall, Nueces, Potter, Rockwell, Terrell and Williamson counties are the latest to support Senate Bill 4. SB4 is also known as the Sanctuary Cities Bill.
Tuesday, the top official for the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, held a news conference to continue the legal fight to defend SB4 in Texas. SB4 gives local law enforcement the power to ask about a person's immigration status during interactions with police.
"So-called sanctuary cities openly defy the federal government, giving illegal aliens who have already committed crimes a pass to walk free and commit additional crimes in our communities," Nielsen said.
Nielsen said the sheriffs are now part of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 287-G Program. The program allows local and state law enforcement agencies to enforce immigration law.
Nielsen stated during the news conference that 60 law enforcement agencies in 18 states are already a part of this program, which is up from 30 earlier this year.
Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez has publicly stated she does not support SB4 and it does not make our communities safer. Hernandez said in a statement earlier this year that she believed local communities are stronger and safer when justice and security are a reality not just for some, but for all.
Governor Abbott plans to keep the legal fight going to defend SB4.
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