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Acevedo Says Protecting Dreamers Makes Sense From A Law Enforcement Standpoint

The HPD chief notes that if Congress doesn’t pass legislation to shield Dreamers from deportation there are criminals who could try to recruit them

HPD chief Art Acevedo is advocating for the U.S. Congress to pass legislation to protect ‘Dreamers' from deportation and assures it makes sense from a law enforcement standpoint.

Art Acevedo, chief of the Houston Police Department (HPD), said Tuesday it is “critical” that the Congress passes legislation to protect from deportation undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children because, otherwise, some of them could be at risk of being recruited by criminals.

“There are plenty of street gangs, plenty of drug trafficking organizations and plenty of people that would love to co-opt these young people and say ‘You know what? The American dream is not for you, they don’t want you but, here, come join our family’,” Acevedo assured during a press call organized by the National Immigration Forum.

The HPD chief –who stressed he has more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement— added that if Congress doesn't act soon by passing the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act or some other legislation that would shield ‘Dreamers', there could be “potential” for some of them “to succumb to radicalization process.”

“These folks are folks that have been vetted. They’ve gone through extensive backgrounds,” noted Acevedo, while also saying that what really “worries” him is that “if we take away their ability to work and to continue their education, we’re gonna take people that are proven to be worthy of the American dream and potentially put them in a situation that is unattainable in terms of their ability to earn a living and get an education.”

The HPD chief emphasized as well that the uncertainty regarding the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and, also, the potential implementation of SB4 –the state law that would allow state and local law enforcement agents and other officials to inquire members of the public about their immigration status— in Texas is causing “plenty of instances where there continues to be fear, fear to report crime” in Houston.

In that regard, Acevedo explained some natural born citizens and legal permanent residents can have other members of their families that are undocumented and they don’t want to “bring any attention” to themselves.

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