KHOU reported last night on the response from Texas and Houston leaders to the legalized racial profiling bill recently signed into law by Arizona Republican Jan Brewer. I must say that I am disappointed with the responses:
“The federal government has let us down on its constitutional responsibility to protect our borders and enforce immigration policies. This has gotten worse under Gov. Perry, but ultimately, border security is a federal responsibility,” White said in a written statement from a campaign spokesperson. “As Governor, Bill White will fight for more federal funds for local police in our state.”
Can you expand on that Bill? Are you saying local police should be racially profiling Latinos? Because this is what the Arizona law is all about. Can you respond specifically to the Arizona law? And will you join the call for comprehensive immigration reform that also includes citizenship and legalization in your quotes and not just tough-on-Latinos language?
Meanwhile, from Downtown Houston…
“Mayor Parker’s position has always been that we don’t want to create a situation where people are afraid to call police when they need help or have information that could help solve crimes,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s Communication Director Janice Evans. “She supports checking immigration status only when someone is taken to jail.”
At the protest rally on Sunday, Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois blamed the existence of such programs as 287(g) and the euphemistic “Secure Communities” as the very reason the Arizona Republicans declared open-season on Latinos.
“When the president,” explained Gutierrez, “said to us it is because we have not enacted comprehensive immigration reform that we give an excuse to people in Arizona to pass 1070. Let me just say, every time the federal government said that you can carry out [a 287(g)] extension, you gave Arizona an excuse to do 1070.”
So, will Bill White now take credit for 287(g) and Secure Communities in Houston for political purposes? Or will he denounce the Arizona law as legalized racial profiling?
We deserve a better response, Mr. White.
DosCentavos is still keeping an eye out for other responses from Texas electeds and Democratic leaders.