Get Ready to Hear This A LOT: “Houston is a Sanctuary City”

You’ll be hearing that quite a bit over the next few days because President Obama’s administration has tapped former Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt (pictured) for a key position at the Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement agency. Trouble is, Houston is not a “sanctuary city.”

From the Fox article:

Hurtt has always been a proponent of the jail model of the 287(g) program, which gives local police authority to initiate deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants linked to serious crimes — but as a police chief, he didn’t favor more proactive local enforcement because he didn’t believe it was the best utilization of his resources.

As you can see, the Houston police department initiates deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants who are arrested for serious crimes. What they don’t do is send officers into neighborhoods on a mission to find illegal immigrants wherever they may be.

It should be noted that the very conservative Republican former sheriff in Houston, Tommy Thomas, also utilized the 287 (g) program used in Houston during Hurtt’s tenure. The conservative Heritage Foundation calls 287 (g) the “Right Answer for State and Local Immigration Enforcement.”

Whether rounding up illegal immigrants is a good use of local police resources is up for debate, but “sanctuary city” would not try to deport illegal immigrants for any reason. That’s what would make it a “sanctuary.” Get it?

Also, you should check out this recent article in the Texas Tribune examining the immigration policies of the City of Houston versus the Texas Department of Public Safety. If Houston is a “sanctuary city,” then Texas is a “sanctuary state.” It does not appear that either would be a true statement.


Houston has an estimated 420,000 illegal aliens and it isn't a sanctuary city? Good luck convincing anyone of that. By the way, even ICE doen't "round up" illegal aliens much less the police. Round up is an inflammatory term trying to associate simple law enforcement with out-of-control vigilantism. You can do better Scott.

Scott Braddock, I don't know who you are or where you live but I can promise you that those of us who live in Houston know for a fact that this is a Sanctuary City. If you don't understand, ask the families of the Houston Police Officers that were killed by illegal aliens while under Hurtt's watch, including Officer Rodney Johnson, Officer Henry Canales, Officer Rick Salter.  Hope Hurtt sleeps well at night knowing that he could have avoided this.

Mr. Braddock, while Hurtt was in charge he created General order No. 500-5.  General order No. 500-5 of the Houston Police Department states, "officers shall not inquire as to the citizenship status of any person, nor will officers detain or arrest any persons solely on the belief that they are in this country illegally." This policy, which prevents Houston's police officers from determining if an individual is in this country illegally.

Remember this:   "Houston's Police Chief Harold L. Hurtt recently testified before congress that cracking down on illegal aliens in Houston would offend the Hispanic community and disrupt the current help that the police department receives from the community."   This is the kind of irresponsibility that Chief Hurtt will bring to America through his position with ICE.

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