Responding to calls for Houston to take a tougher stance on immigration legislation, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Tuesday he still is reviewing a controversial state law passed this month that allows police to ask people their immigration status if detained.
The advocacy group FIEL Houston urged Turner earlier in the day to sue the state over Senate Bill 4, which also allows for the jailing of sheriffs and police chiefs who refuse federal requests to hold undocumented immigrants held for other alleged crimes.
The mayor frequently says Houston is a “welcoming city,” but has declined to weigh in for or against the law, which critics view as discriminatory.
“The time for good words or for pretty words (is) over. We need action and we need action immediately,” Cesar Espinosa, executive director of FIEL Houston, said in front of City Hall. “If there was a mass exodus of people or a mass deportation of people, this would affect Houston not only in the service industry but also in many other industries … as well as in society in general.”
Other lawsuits are underway, and San Antonio has now followed suit. I think there’s a case to be made for waiting till the pension reform bill is officially signed, which should be within the next two weeks, but not after that. Stace has more.
UPDATE: The pension bill has been signed. I see no reason not to address the SB4 issue now.