Simon Law Group, PLLC Articles New Bill Proposes Protection For Police Witnesses

New Bill Proposes Protection For Police Witnesses

By Law Office of Sebastian J. Simon  May. 9, 2013 3:35p

Thanks to a new measure approved by the House Committee on State Affairs, police officers would be prevented from inquiring into the immigration status of victims and witnesses to crimes. The move, supporters of the bill say, would help police gather information regarding crimes by protecting witnesses who wish to aid investigations.

According to the author of the proposal, Democratic Representative Lon Burnham from Fort Worth, state and local law enforcement agencies are currently hindered in their duties by a wall of silence, often stemming from fears that victims and witnesses have of being deported should they cooperate with police. With the help of his legislation, House Bill 3738, the legislator claims that everyone will feel safe to speak with police officers regardless of legal status.

"People are recognizing that there are fundamental issues and problems that need to be addressed, and this bill is one of those issues," Burnham told press after his proposal was approved by the Committee. "All this bill accomplishes is to bring anybody and everybody under the protection of the law."

Police Officials In Favor Of Passage

Liberals in the state Congress argue that the measure represents a sweeping change from Texas' normal attitude on immigration, claiming that the populace is beginning to soften its hard-line stance on the issue. Among the most vociferous supporters of H.B. 3738 is Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, who testified before the House against several proposals that would have required officers to check witnesses and victims' immigration status. Advocating for the new legislation, the Chief told politicians that the bill would improve the ability of his agents to do their jobs.

Opponents of H.B. 3738 say they worry the proposal will grant an unofficial amnesty to aliens living illegally within Texas borders, but Burnham told reporters the bill is purposefully limited in scope to prevent such an event from occurring. In order for the legislature to pass before the House for a full vote, it must next be voted through the House Calendar Committee, which has the final authority decide the proposals that will go before lower chamber and when.

An Immigration Lawyer You Can Trust

If you or any member of your family is in trouble and feels you have nowhere else to turn, please do not hesitate to contact an immigration attorney in Houston today! Whatever your needs regarding immigration law, Sebastian J. Simon can offer you help. With the help of personal experience undergoing the immigration process, our legal team is dedicated to helping our clients achieve their goals as quickly and painlessly as possible. We urge you to visit our website or contact our firm via telephone right away!

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