SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police Chief William McManus voiced his disappointment Monday about the new law banning so-called sanctuary cities.
Despite concerns from McManus and other police chief across Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill, SB 4, into law Sunday.
The law, which goes into effect Sept. 1, allows police officers to ask about a person's immigration status during routine stops.
During a news conference, McManus talked about the initial impact the law will have on his department.
"First thing we're going to have to do from an administrative perspective, we're going to have to take it off the books where officers are instructed not to ask anyone for their immigration status. So that comes off the books," he said.
McManus said the law will instill fear about undocumented immigrants, who he said will make them more vulnerable to crime because they'll be less likely to report crimes and less willing to cooperate with police officers.
He said if officers do ask about a person's immigration status, it will be done due to a person's skin color, language or accent.
"That leads to racial profiling. Profiling could lead to lawsuits. I mean, it's just my opinion," he said. "There's nothing positive that this bill does in the community or in law enforcement."
Although several civil rights groups are likely to challenge the law, there was discussion during Thursday's San Antonio City Council meeting whether to pursue legal action, but no decision was made.