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Border community in Texas react to immigration bill

LAREDO, Texas (NBC, KYMA/KECY) - One Texas border community is sharing its plans on Texas immigrantion bill Senate Bill (SB) 4, despite recent rulings making its future application unclear.

On Wednesday, the City of Laredo held a press conference to clarify the city's position on the bill.

Despite back-and-forth verdicts, City of Laredo officials stressed they will continue to collaborate with state, federal, and bi-national law enforcement agencies.

Laredo's mayor, Victor Trevino, says that includes the intention to continue to work with Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) who, he says, are subject matter experts on federal immigration law.

"A country of laws"

While Mayor Trevino maintained that, "we are a country of laws," he stressed the great uncertainty the bill poses to hispanic communities across texas.

Laredo Police Chief Miguel Rodriguez Jr. also addressed the department's position.

"It's very important that we train, and train, and train because we want to avoid the racial profiling part of this law that it lends itself for that. But, again, racial profiling is a law that not only is a violation in Texas, but it's a violation in the entire United States. We can not do that, it's very important that we do not do that. So, it's very important that we focus on training and we already have the curriculum at PD. We've already shared that curriculum with the sheriff's department, and we are already ready to train our officers under this new law."

Miguel Rodriguez Jr., Police Chief, Laredo Police Department

Chief Rodriguez wants to subdue potential fears and concerns, saying the law is not meant to round up individuals or ask for individual's immigration status without cause.

"I can tell you that this law is not about us going out there and doing round-ups. This law is not about us going out there and asking for papers and immigration status. This is not about that. This law is very clear that whenever we can apply it, is through a lawful detention or an arrest, and let me be very clear that this is the reason why we have already talked to our local partners and making sure that we standardize our training, that we're not doing things differently. That we make sure that when we're training our officers, it is the same training that our deputy sheriffs are getting trained at, that our constables are getting trained at."

Miguel Rodriguez Jr., Police Chief, Laredo Police Department
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