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Houston’s “Don’t Ask” Policy At Odds With Governor Abbott’s Sanctuary City Vision

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott has blocked $1.5 million in grants for Travis County over so-called “sanctuary cities.” That’s after Austin’s sheriff stopped complying with federal immigration detainers. That could eventually affect cities like Houston, which has a “don’t ask” policy for police officers.


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Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo

Abbott has asked the Texas legislature to prioritize a “Sanctuary City” law between now and June, and he wants the power to remove locally elected officials. That flies in the face of many law enforcement professionals, who don’t want to be put into the position of being border control agents when they’re at a crime scene trying to get information. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo was a guest on ‘Houston Matters.’

“We rely on relationships, and that means that we want our cops to be going after the gang bangers and the people who are doing home invasion robberies, and not after the cooks, the nannies, the day laborers. And we need those people that — but for their immigration status, are not bothering anybody — to be our eyes and ears. They see things, and they should not have to fear their state, county and local officers.”

Chief Acevedo says there’s an obvious solution that’s not being discussed.

“It’s a real simple fix. Make it so painful to be caught employing an illegal immigrant or an undocumented immigrant that nobody will hire them. The fix doesn’t belong in the Houston Police Department.”

Acevedo says Texans often complain about federal control of states, but Texans should also be worried about state legislative control over local governmental decisions.

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