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Willacy County Sheriff on Senate Bill 4: 'We're not here to question your nationality'

Willacy County authorities address Senate Bill 4.

Hidalgo County law enforcement aren’t the only agencies trying to ease fears now that Senate Bill 4 has been signed into law.

The controversial bill, which requires law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration laws against anyone they detain, will go into effect Sept. 1

Though Willacy County authorities said they will cooperate with the law, they don’t want the public to be afraid of authority, or to report crime.

"We're not going to stop people and ask them if they are American citizens, but if a person is involved in a crime and it is established that they are an illegal immigrant, then ICE will be notified and if they choose to detain the subject it'll be done," said Lyford Police Chief Andres Maldonado.

Willacy County authorities said they will spend time educating their officers in proper methods based on the controversial bill.

“We're not here to question your nationality,” said Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence. “We're here to help you and protect you, just like we would do to anyone else in the county."

Both Spence and Maldonado said they plan to educate residents in their areas.

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