Although there is no official designation, a sanctuary city is considered a place where the local city government won't allow law enforcement to check on the immigration status of residents. Austin and Dallas have also been called sanctuary cities. Without naming names, Governor Perry says he expects that to change.
"There are cities in this state that have made decisions that they're going to be havens for those who are either in conflict with federal immigration laws or state laws and we're going to prohibit that. We'll have a good and open discussion about what we're going to prohibit and if the shoe is fitting you, you might not want to be wearing it. "
Both former Mayor Bill White and current Mayor AnniseParker have flatly rejected the label of sanctuary city. Mayor Parker says she doesn't know of any sanctuarycities in Texas and contends that Houston's current policy works. She says it's the same one used by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
"I intend to continue our pragmatic policy that makes allcitizens safer by very clearly telling those who are hereillegally if you're here peacefully, if you are contributingto the economy and not breaking local laws, we encourageyou to interact with the police department, to call if you need help and if you are breaking local laws, we intendto find you, arrest you, charge you, take you to trial andthen when you're done serving your time here, turn youover to ICE for deportation."
Parker says she agrees with Governor Perry that the nation'simmigration policy has failed at the borders and says it needs to be addressed at the Federal level.