Officer union calls for change in immigration rule
Group wants HPD to allow questioning about citizenship status



TM - "No, absolutely not"

ZP -  "The first and foremost concern for our local tax-funded police department should be to concentrate on questions related to safety enforcement issues.  Immigration status should be the last thing on the mind of the rank-and-file police officer.  I believe that this question should only become an issue if there is an arrest made for felony behavior."

RL - "The issue of immigration is a federal issue that has been neglected for way too long.  It is the responsibility for President Barack Obama and Democratic Congress to establish comprehensive immigration reform that will fix the problem nationwide. Once this happens, the state and local authorities will have their marching orders from the federal government on what they can and cannot do in regards to immigration issues.  The vast majority of crimes are committed by people who are NOT immigrants.  Stop using immigrants as an excuse for why crime is a problem in the community."

C -  "As a police officer I Am very concerned about the criminals not just illegal aliens committing crimes. I don't want to see reportable crimes stop being reported either by these illegals. So what do we do? Somehow we need to have exeptions for persons being victimized by criminals in the illegal alien community so that they need not fear a status investigation."

JC - "  I don't want the police ask about citizenship status!! "

GQ - " I think it is misguided and is wrought with abuse and racial profiling.  This is clearly a federal issue and that we should continue to follow the example of the other major police departments in the state.  I actually spoke on this issue on behalf of the 1,800 members of the National League of Cities before the House Immigration Sub-committee as Mayor Pro tem for the City and opposed empowering local police forces in enforcing immigration laws.  Officer Johnson was  not shot because of the individual’s immigration status but because he did not have help to carefully frisk the man for weapons."

AH - " I agree with the mayor.  HPD is not Immigration, and changing this policy will not reduce a single crime in this city.  It will, in fact, make HPD’s job harder to solve crimes in certain neighborhoods, since people will be less willing to report crime for fear of being deported.  It will also raise the possibility of racial profiling in this city, since HPD will probably not ask someone with white skin for identification.  Unfortunately, I fear that others will raise pressure to change this policy."

HM - " I think Mr. Gary Blankinship words are out of line, I have been a union representative for over twenty years with UFCW, AFT, and also SEIU. When Mr. Gary Blankinship union are organizing non union employees does he ask them if they are here illegally. I don't think so. Unions are suppose to help, not hurt the community."

AM -  “I absolutely object.  Please see the publicized cases of Jose Guzman and Mark Lyttle, U.S. citizens who were wrongfully deported. HPD has no business trying to figure out immigration status, even the feds can't do it well, in addition to community policing problems that would be created.”

HM - " I believe HPD should not change their policy in terms of the immigration rule.  Changing the policy would have some serious consequences on the reporting of crimes by the community at large especially the Latino community." 

JG -  "The safety of our Police Officers has priority over racial profiling. The idea that it would decrease public safety, by discouraging residents to report crime is a myth. We need to question residents about their immigration status. The number of criminal aliens is increasing,... our citizens and Police Officers need to feel safe in Houston."

J -  "I am not a fan of Police asking questions about people's immigration status. I mean that to me is rediculous! I think the Police should be more worried about serious crimes instead of immigrantion status. I mean since when, in the history of the world, has it been a crime to seek a better life in a different land? I say this because I am sure that the Police will not ask our Western or Eastern European immigrants about their status. Somehow I feel that would become a Hispanic problem, call me crazy. Now I am very sorry that those Police officers were shot, but I think the fact that they were shot by immigrants is almost irrelevant. They were shot by bad misled people. The fact of the matter is that for every one immigrant that that commits a crime there are several million on the other side that are law observing people at are only here to work and to give their families a better life in this country. So lets stop demonizing immigrants and just using them as scapegoats for other problems that are staples in our communities."

GV -  "DO NOT QUESTION RESIDENTS ABOUT IMMIGRATION STATUS. I do not support a change to legislation that would allow police officers to question residents’ immigration status.  This is unconstitutional."

RC -  "I support HPD's current policy!  What I would be open to is if HPD is processing "felony charges" on someone then they should question the person arrested regarding their immigration status!  ...But only for Felony level criminal charges that have been accepted by the DA's office. I totally agree with the notion that people in the "undocumented community" would be hesitant to report, or offer to be witnesses, regarding crimes if this policy was changed! Thanks for the opportunity to provide input."

KS -  "I may not be helpful here. I do not believe we need border control of any kind. I think folks should be free to be in any part of the world."

FV -  “I oppose this. This is only going to make the matters worse and give officers an excuse for racial profiling. For victims of domestic violence its already hard to trust in the system and come forward to report their abuse. This could cause more fatal incidents and less reporting from those who suffer family violence situation this including sexual violence. Let’s not let this get through.”

GG -  “I concur with the Officer Union for change in immigration rule.”

MA -  "Enough, enough already.  What will it take for our overall Latino community to raise their voices in unison to quiet the negative voices against our Latino/Hispanic/Chicano/Mexican/Mexican-American/Central American/South American/etc. communities????   You name it.  If you are BROWN, you are suspect.  Shame on all Latino leaders and citizens in our community who have failed to quiet the fears of the minority white Anglo community of the usually quiet Latino community - these Brown folks just want to work and get along.  Especially Mexicans have been the "kicking boy" - the scapegoat of this state since it origins.  Until and unless we can stop and check the status of all and whoever gets stopped by peace officers, NO to checking on immigration status.  Yes there are criminals in our mist, just as there are criminals in all other communities, whether we are talking white, black, gay, women, Asian, etc. - those monsters exist amongst us all - even fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, do monstrous things - are we going to punish all gays, Asians, whites, mother, fathers, sons and daughters, etc. because of bad fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, Asians, gays, etc. who commit heinous crimes??  I personally think we would all like to ship all criminals to islands where they can harm no one but themselves, but that is not real, not even reality TV can do that.  The answer is NO,  NO because we have a just system of justice.  So therefore I would encourage all to say NO to the "mostly white union" -  ask them to please do your job and stop picking on the Brown folks and I already admitted we have criminals amongst us, but the 99% who are just hard working folks who willing give up their lives - please remember and read about all who die on their way over here - who just want to feed and give their family a chance at the American Dream.”

FV -  "Having HPD ask about immigration is only going to make all of us more unsafe.  If HPD asks immigration questions then crime in immigrant communities will go un-monitored.  Immigrant victims will not trust to call the police when they are victimized.  Even those who do not live in immigrant communities will be affected by the overflow of crime from immigrant communities.  Furthermore, HPD is not trained to know who has lawful status in the US.  It can be difficult enough to figure out who is a citizen or a resident.  Not to mention the slew of other types of visas and status that HPD will not understand.  Having them learn about immigration will take away from their real job, which is to protect, not persecute, the pubic.  Finally, it is unfair and unjust to create a racist policy based on the bad actions of a few criminals (who are immigrants).  How will HPD decide which persons might not have status.  My guess is that it will be "ethnic" looking people who do not speak English.  Neither of these are requirements for being a US citizen.  I look very "ethnic" and have dark brown skin.  Will HPD suspect I do not have status?  My grandmother was born in the US but she speaks very choppy English with an accent.  Will she be suspected to not have status?  Conversely, will the blonde-haired, blue-eyed undocumented immigrant from Germany be suspected of not having status?  I seriously doubt it.”

DEFC -  "I believe that anyone, regardless of ethnic origin or race,  who commits  and is legally charged of committing a  major felony or crime, such as DWI or burglary, rape, child molestation, murder, etc, should be asked about legal  or non documented residency  status in the USA. Those criminals should be judged by the legal system and not just be  deported, but imprisoned in their native country or in the case of conviction of a homicide, where the maximum penalty is death, should have their sentence carried out within the  judicial system of our State. It is my understanding that the conditions of imprisonment in most foreign countries is far worse than any in the USA, and that deportation and imprisonment in a foreign country would be an added  incentive to not only relieve the over crowded jails and prisons, but to prevent more crime by the undocumented aliens who are not here to work and live peacefully.  If a person is non documented and refuses  to obey all laws in this state, he/she is not welcomed and is a treat to our society.  Most non documented persons are here to work but constantly live under stress for fear of deportation and so are extra careful to obey the laws of our city, county and state. Why should we enact a policy of inquiry by the police unless there is a justified reason for detaining and questioning the person?  When the non documented persons feel secure in reporting criminal activity or the presence of criminals who have returned to the USA after being deported, they will help rid the local area of those persons who are harmful not only to them but to society at large. I do not believe that the HPD should have the right to stop and ask any and all persons about their immigration or legal status in the USA.  This would eventually lead to many suits filed by those whose rights have been violated if the actions were based on profiling.”   

AA -  “At this time I would have to say no, reason there is too much bigotry in the Houston Police department which will lead to profiling the Hispanic community. But I do believe that we must do something to curb crime from illegal aliens.”

GJC -  “I was born in New Mexico and have lived in the US all my life (a fourth generation Hispanic).  I now speak Spanish because I am married to a Mexican immigrant, but I never did before.  If I were stopped and asked to prove my “status”, I would normally only be able to show my drivers license.  I never even thought about having to prove my citizenship until I married a Mexican and discovered how prejudiced many people here are!  It would be burdensome to have to carry a passport everywhere. I think this kind of profile questioning would be racist and inappropriate.  Do you think the police would routinely stop someone who is blond and blue-eyed and ask them to “prove” citizenship?  My blond brother never gets stopped, and he lives in a profiling town.  My brown-haired, dark eyed brother gets stopped all the time.  Is this fair? This is very simplified for a complex issue, but the only reason that Hispanics are the biggest percentage in prisons is that Hispanics are frequently denied jobs and education more often and find themselves in compromising situations, places and opportunity more often.  They often get stopped for brake lights and get sent to prison for indocumentation, or for similar names of illegals.  The illegal immigrant bias against Mexicans is unfair and mistaken in that Mexicans would usually prefer to live and work in Mexico.  When they come, they come for jobs.  Most are honest, hardworking taxpayers.  If trade with Mexico were encouraged and fair, Mexico’s economy would encourage the homeless and jobless to go to, or return, to Mexico.  I believe with the imminent taxation and inflationary period, brought on by the new and expanding budget deficits, will force many more businesses to move to Mexico, and jobs opening there, and will see a renewed migration to Mexico of workers.” 

CH -  “Against it- because if you have been a victim of a crime or perpetrator of a crime, you should be held under the same laws regardless of citizenship.”