HOUSTON - There is new pressure on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to veto SB 4, the so-called "sanctuary cities bill."
Houston’s top cop remains one of the measure’s harshest critics. “ICE has reached out to us,” said Chief Art Acevedo.
KHOU 11 News was first to learn from Acevedo that Immigration and Customs Enforcement requested a meeting to discuss the ban.
“We’re going to continue to have a great working relationship just like we’ve always had,” said Acevedo. “And, quite frankly, the only thing that’s happened as a result of SB 4 is that we’ve put the fear and marginalized people that we rely on to keep the community safe.”
HPD data shows that fewer Hispanic victims of crime are coming forward out of fear, the chief believes, of getting deported.
He says requiring local officers to comply with federal immigration protocol could also lead to racial profiling.
“This is a common sense law that mainly requires people like out Democratic sheriff to obey the law,” said Harris County Republican Party chairman Paul Simpson.
Simpson disputes some of what proponents have called “scare tactics.”
“I think the law is clear you can’t racially discriminate under the bill, absolutely not,” said Simpson. “And the bill even provides provisions for educating the public to know that victims and witnesses of crimes are protected under the bill.”
It’s a bill Governor Abbott tweeted about after its passage this week. “I’m getting my signing pen warmed up,” he wrote.
“Unfortunately, politics took a front seat to good public policy,” said Acevedo.
Law enforcement officials in Bexar County sent a formal letter to the Governor urging a veto. The governor’s office has not provided details about when he might sign the bill into law.