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What does SB4 mean for residents and visitors in Fort Worth?

Posted Sept. 13, 2017 | Last updated Nov. 1, 2017

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Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 4 (SB4) on May 7, 2017. The law went into effect on Sept. 1, 2017. However, there are court challenges to parts of the law that the court has not ruled on yet. Here is some information on what this means for residents and visitors in Fort Worth.

What is Senate Bill 4?

Under SB4, the following is allowed:

  • Asking someone who has been lawfully detained or arrested about their immigration status.
  • Sharing information and cooperating with immigration authorities.
  • Permitting federal immigration authorities into local jails.

The Fort Worth Police Department remains committed to their philosophy of Community Policing and building relationships with the community.

Officers provide police services to the community in a nonpartisan, fair, equitable and objective manner without consideration of race, color, gender, age, national origin, religion, disability, economic status, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, membership in a cultural group or an individual’s ability to speak English.

What does Senate Bill 4 do?

SB4 requires local police to cooperate with federal immigration authorities and allows police to ask the immigration status of people they have lawfully detained.

It allows officers to arrest a lawfully-detained person if the person is untruthful about their identity.

It also says that local authorities can not adopt policies that would prevent a police officer from asking about a person’s immigration status.

If law enforcement officials, public colleges, city staff and elected officials adopt policies that prohibit a police officer from asking about a person’s immigration status, they can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and possibly jail time. They can also face civil penalties from $1,000 to $25,000.

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