West Texas Hispanic leader: ‘People are afraid to go out in the street’ after sanctuary cities bill

MIDLAND -- Texas' sanctuary cities legislation stands out among the nation as tough against illegal immigration.

The biggest impact will allow every Texas police officer and sheriff's deputy to ask if someone is in the country legally during routine traffic stops.

It will also threaten law enforcement officers with jail time if they don't cooperate with federal immigration agents.

“I feel we are going to be targeted with racial profiling,” said Ruben Ramirez, who is the District 6 director for LULAC, League of United Latin American Citizens.

Ramirez says the Hispanic community is worried about the implementation of the bill which has been signed by the governor.

“People are getting afraid to go out in the street because any policeman can go ahead and ask you for papers and that’s not right,” Ramirez said. “It’s targeting.”

The local implementation is still not clear.

Midland Police Chief Price Robinson told the Midland Reporter Telegram that he did not support the passage of SB 4 because it would create distrust in law enforcement. CBS 7 reached out to ask the same questions but the chief declined to comment.

Odessa Police Spokesperson Cpl. Steve LeSueur said the bill would not impact much of what they do, but that officers would receive additional training on the new questions they can now ask.

“Every time they make new laws, it can sometimes take several months, when we get a legislative update we will do a training on it,” LeSueur said.