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Officials Want Dallas City Council To Condemn SB 4

SB4 Protesters in Dallas, Texas. | Image by WFAA
SB 4 Protesters in Dallas, Texas. | Image by WFAA

The Dallas City Council is being asked to support a resolution drafted by Council Member Adam Bazaldua that condemns SB 4 — the state law allowing peace officers in Texas to arrest suspected illegal aliens.

On Monday, Bazaldua (District 7), chair of the Quality of Life, Arts & Culture Committee, secured approval to send the resolution to the full council for consideration. It is slated for review on June 12.

“We have seen where there has been a tug of war for political posturing, and I would encourage that we don’t allow for our police department, our law enforcement officers, to be strained to do something that I believe to be unconstitutional ultimately — aside from the fact that it is outside of the City’s purview to enforce immigration law,” Bazaldua said. “The last thing that we need is a stop-and-frisk mentality for certain vulnerable communities in [Dallas].”

Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 4 into law in December 2023, but the legislation remains in limbo while the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reviews a lower court’s ruling that blocked its implementation, The Texas Tribune reported.

The committee resolution calls for the defense of “nearly one-quarter of Dallas residents [who are] from a country other than the United States” and provides that “the City of Dallas embraces and welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds, and … has concerns regarding Senate Bill 4, including the strain on local resources and the impact of vulnerable communities.”

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the Dallas Police Department has been laboring under a significant staffing shortage, fielding only around 3,000 officers when a City analysis calls for approximately 4,000 to properly maintain public safety and bring response times down.

Council Member Paul Ridley (District 14), who sits on the committee, questioned the resolution’s usefulness.

“I think the Senate Bill 4 is patently unconstitutional,” he said during the meeting. “It has been challenged in the courts, where enforcement has been enjoined. And I think, ultimately, the courts will find it unconstitutional and strike it down. I understand [it’s] just a resolution, but I just think this situation’s going to be resolved through the courts, and passing this resolution, frankly, is not going to influence the legislature one bit, nor will it really affect the courts.”

In the resolution, Bazaldua cites the purported economic benefits of allowing illegal aliens to remain in Dallas “with immigrants present in 39.9 percent of households [who] play a key role in advancing Dallas’s economy, comprising 28.9 percent of the local workforce and representing 38.9 percent of business owners in the City.”

Council Member Jaime Resendez (District 5) claimed during the meeting that SB 4 “risks institutionalizing racial profiling, leading to discrimination based solely on appearance or perceived immigration status. It undermines trust between law enforcement and the communities that they serve. And building trust between our immigrant communities and local authorities is crucial for public safety.”

Illegal aliens arrested under SB 4 face a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail. Repeat offenders may be prosecuted as felons and sentenced to 2 to 20 years in prison. The legislation also requires Texas magistrates to order illegal aliens to “return to the foreign nation from which the person entered or attempted to enter.”

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