Police take class on dealing with foreign nationals

Darlington Police and sheriff's deputies took a class offered by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety's Immigration Enforcement Unit Tuesday.

DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – Darlington Police and sheriff’s deputies took a class offered by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Immigration Enforcement Unit Tuesday.

Each officer received a card during that class detailing what to do if and when they come into contact with a person who is not a citizen of this country.

“There is nothing in state or local law dealing with international borders,” said Chief Danny Watson with Darlington Police.

DPS agents taught the officers about who to call and what to do when they need to help or arrest someone not from the U.S..

Chief Watson said treaties with several different countries dictate how citizens of certain nations get treated if they’re detained or arrested. Officers also learned about laws concerning diplomats and other foreign officials.

“Do they get the same, I guess courtesies that American citizens would get as far as the Constitution,” Watson said.

Watson said the class was mostly to be sure officers know that just because someone isn’t an American citizen, doesn’t mean they don’t have rights.

“The Constitution applies to people who are in our country, as far as advising them of their rights, Miranda, so on,”
said Watson. “So Miranda does apply to them. We would treat them the same way that we would treat anybody else.”

Chief Watson also wanted to be clear that his officers never have and never will ask anyone about their immigration status when they call for help.

“We’re gonna give those folks the same kinda treatment because that’s not what we’re looking for, someone’s immigration status,” Watson said.