Houston Police Chief Debates SB4 At Latino Town Hall

Local leaders discussed issues affecting Houston’s Latino community.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and political party leaders clashed over Texas’s anti-sanctuary city law at a town hall assembled by Houston Public Media partnering with Univision.

Panelists debated current state and federal policies that affect the Houston Latino community, including SB4, also known as the “sanctuary cities” bill, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

In the conversation on local policy, Julio Torres, from the Harris County GOP, said the Republican Party supports the controversial SB4. He said, "Law enforcement are going to be helped by pushing the law to the extent where the citizens of Texas are going to be protected."

Houston's Police Chief Art Acevedo disagreed. "I have to take exception with that," he said. "Law enforcement was very loud and very clear in our opposition to SB4. This law is hurting public safety."

Carlos Duarte, the Texas State Director of Mi Familia Vota, also participated in the panel. According to Duarte, "Texas has really become ground zero for the immigration fight." Acevedo challenged Texas lawmakers to focus immigration policy on the employers of undocumented immigrants, not the immigrants themselves.

In a panel discussion on DACA, Cassandra Luevano of the Texas GOP said, "These conversations with leaders from both sides need to happen more often."

The town hall was hosted by Univision’s Osvaldo Corral and author Gabriela Natale. The live broadcast aired on TV 8 and is part of Houston Public Media’s DiverseCity, a yearlong initiative focusing on what it means to be the most diverse metropolitan area in the country.

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Jen Rice

Jen Rice


Jen Rice is the City Hall reporter at Houston Public Media, where she covers topics like Houston City Council and housing. Jen was born and raised in Houston's 100-year floodplain. She graduated from Barnard College at Columbia University and has a master's degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs...

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