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Hidalgo County law enforcement agencies meet with DA over SB 4

4 weeks 1 day 25 minutes ago Wednesday, March 20 2024 Mar 20, 2024 March 20, 2024 8:56 PM March 20, 2024 in News - Local

The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office and the Weslaco and Edinburg police departments were among those who met with the district attorney over Texas’ recently blocked immigration bill.

Senate Bill 4 lets Texas enforce a new law giving police broad powers to arrest migrants suspected of crossing the border illegally.

READ MORE: Disagreement and confusion on display in hearing over Texas’ new immigration law

An appeals court blocked the law from going into effect on Tuesday.

Hidalgo County District Attorney Terry Palacios said Wednesday’s meeting served to iron out any misinterpretations of the law surrounding how arrests will be made should SB 4 go into effect.

Palacios said police can arrest someone under SB 4 in scenarios such as a person seen swimming across the Rio Grande.

“You can't just stop somebody north of Edinburg and say, ‘oh he is criminal trespassing’ unless you do the proper investigation and find that he did cross,” Palacios said. “If you see someone crossing the river, then it's possible you may arrest them and develop probable cause. You need to make sure he is an alien and has nothing else pending."

Under the law, if a migrant is convicted, a judge would be required to order police to take them to a port of entry.

Palacios says he clarified with officers that the arresting agency is in charge of taking people back to the border. 

The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals have not said how soon they could issue a ruling.

Watch the video above for the full story. 

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