...A group called Protect Our Citizens is gathering signatures for a November ballot referendum that would amend Houston's city charter to allow police to verify any suspect's citizenship.Previously:
U.S. Rep John Culberson, R-Houston, last month added an amendment to an appropriations bill that would block federal law enforcement money for cities with "sanctuary policies." The spending measure still has to be discussed in the Senate.
Mayor Bill White and police department officials deny Houston is a sanctuary city, saying officers will arrest anybody, including illegal immigrants, as needed. But White added that officers would be diverted from priority calls if they had to check the citizenship status of every person they dealt with.
...The Houston policy allows officers to inquire about citizenship status if a person is arrested for anything other than a traffic or city ordinance violation.
But Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, who is seeking the nod to be former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's replacement in the race for his congressional seat, said officers should be allowed to check in any situation...
Craig Ferrell, general counsel for the Houston Police Department, said officers can't legally question individuals solely on the suspicion they are in the country illegally. He also noted police need immigrants to feel comfortable talking to authorities and not fear deportation.
...Houston City Councilwoman Carol Alvarado called anti-immigration efforts an "immoral" result of election-year politics.
Alvarado is helping organize opposition to the referendum movement...
Immigration · Tue, 08/01/2006 - 09:43 · Importance: 1