Texas law officers decry immigration bills

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas police chiefs and sheriffs visited the Capitol to decry potential Arizona-type legislation that would require them to enforce federal immigration law.

Law officials said Thursday that their departments are already strapped for funding and staggering under the load of local crime and community issues. To add what they say is an unfunded mandate from the state would push unsustainable costs down to cities and counties.

Legislators are proposing to cut funding for law enforcement officer training because the state faces a budget shortfall of at least $15 billion, but the officers would need additional training to enforce immigration law.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says it would be shortsighted to require police departments to act as specialized agents while cutting necessary funding.