Friday, February 1, 2008

An Illegal Immigration Post

Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt testified about not wanting his officers enforcing immigration laws with ICE. His primary argument was that it would consume too many hours and resources and other calls would suffer. In a way I would have to say he is right. HPD's manpower shortage has been an issue for years. People are always complaining about calling HPD and waiting hours for an officer to show up. I want to also point out that HPD did change its initial policy of "don't ask don't tell." Of course it took a police officer getting murdered to bring on the change. I can understand the manpower argument. Remember, ICE's job is to enforce the immigration laws (though they need a lot of help). After the murder of HPD Officer Rodney Johnson, the man who aided his killer was arrested for hiring illegal immigrants. We will have to say if this is the start of a real trend or just a result of this one incident. As anyone who lives (or lived) here knows HPD doesn't actually have to go around enforcing immigration laws. Police officers come into contact everyday with illegal immigrants arrested for traffic (and higher) offenses and now do note on their jail paperwork if the prisoner is a citizen or not. At that point it is ICE's job to come in and handle the illegal. However, if too many are arrested, ICE may say "no mas."

In a probably-related article, Corpus Christi announces that they will start towing uninsured vehicles. Here in Harris County, many uninsured vehicles are driven by illegal immigrants. Some agencies allow their officers to tow these vehicles, others don't. Generally, the uninsured is given a ticket and allowed to drive off.

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