Via Marc Campos, a response from Council Member Carol Alvarado to this dumb idea.

In response to those that wish to make our Houston Police Department an I.C.E. arm (Homeland Security’s Immigration Customs Enforcement), Houston City Council Member Carol Alvarado is spearheading the effort to organize Houstonians to defeat this ill-advised attempt to amend the City of Houston Charter. The Alvarado led organizational vehicle is called Protect Houston (a web page is currently being constructed at A communitywide meeting has been scheduled for next Monday, July 24. The following is the text of the invitation that is being sent throughout the city.

A Message From Carol Alvarado

Mean spirited Houstonians are gathering signatures on a petition that would force the City of Houston to call a city charter referendum that would compel police officers to demand proof of citizenship when interacting with Houstonians. If adopted by the voters, the city charter change would create a hostile relationship between the police and certain communities and limit their effectiveness in protecting Houstonians from crime.

In order to protect all Houstonians, it is imperative that the Houston Police Department maintain a respectful, professional and trusting relationship with the residents of all of the city’s many neighborhoods and among all of the city’s diverse ethnic communities.

This ill-advised city charter referendum threatens to divide the people of our diverse and welcoming community; tie the hands of the professional men and women who serve in our police department; and stigmatize the City of Houston in the eyes of the nation and the world.


You are invited to attend and participate in a community meeting to help develop a strategy to defeat this mean spirited assault on our community.


6 P.M., MONDAY, JULY 24, 2006


Your presence and involvement on this key public policy issue is requested. Please attend and bring other concerned Houstonians.


CONTACT 713-861-2244 OR EMAIL [email protected].

Needless to say, this will not be the last we hear of all this. Stay tuned.

On a lighter note, when exactly are we going to get serious about the Canadian menace?

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15 Responses to

  1. kevin whited says:

    If the no-ask directive as crafted by a police chief without Council input in 1992 is such a good one, then surely Ms. Alvarado won’t object to it coming before Council and getting a review before elected officials. That’s why we have elected officials, to craft policy and decide controversial matters.

    As usual, Alvarado’s language is overwrought. The notion that removing a no-ask policy is the equivalent of forcing officers to obtain ID when interacting with all Houstonians is not quite accurate.

  2. Dennis says:

    I’ve attended swearing-in ceremonies for police officers and, as I recall, the oath they take says something to the effect of “protect and defend the constitution and enforce the laws”. Why should showing evidence of citizenship be any more of a burden than producing a valid drivers license?

  3. Why should showing evidence of citizenship be any more of a burden than producing a valid drivers license?

    Wait a minute. You’re not suggesting that we all need to carry our passports or birth certificates with us on a daily basis, are you? Because that does seem like a burden to me.

  4. Sergio D says:

    Dennis’ outrageous rhetorical is quite amusing. There would be an overwhelming propensity by HPD to check folks that look like me versus folks that look like Mayor White!

    Just like the idiots from that questioned Rick Dovalina’s (Past National LULAC President) citizenship at this week’s news conference. For the record, Dovalina has a distinguished career of nearly 30 years as an attorney and Hispanic community leader.

  5. Locutor says:

    Well said, Kuff.

    “Your papers, please” is really not something I want to hear on American soil, thank you very much.

  6. Charles Hixon says:

    Well, it is obvious you presented both your birth certificate and passport before you were allowed to sign that petition, and beside your name that petition has the columns for birth certificate and passport reference numbers, because they will be checked, possibly by someone who also speaks Spanish, and if anything is found to be missing, incomplete or incorrect, not only will your signature be invalid, but you will be charged as a terrorist, deported and sent to Guantanamo Bay indefinitely as a detainee without intention of setting a trial date. Your home computer will be seized, whether it boots up or not, and all materials in your household that might possibly be used to make a bomb of whatever sort will be confiscated. So take off the tape holding the battery in your alarm clock so that it cannot resemble a timing device and buy a replacement battery cover made in China like all Real Americans do.

  7. Support Science to Reverse Global Warming, if still possible says:


    about Authoritarians:

    by John W. Dean

    Conservatives Without Conscience



    For more than 40 years I have considered myself a “Goldwater conservative,” and am thoroughly familiar with the movement’s canon. But I can find nothing conservative about the Bush/Cheney White House, which has created a Nixon “imperial presidency” on steroids, while acting as if being tutored by the best and brightest of the Cosa Nostra.


    …Goldwater was also mystified (when not miffed) by the direction of today’s professed conservatives — their growing incivility, pugnacious attitudes, and arrogant and antagonistic style, along with a narrow outlook intolerant of those who challenge their thinking….


    For almost half a century, social scientists have been exploring authoritarianism. We do not typically associate authoritarianism with our democracy, but as I discovered while examining decades of empirical research, we ignore some findings at our risk….


    What I found provided a personal epiphany. Authoritarian conservatives are, as a researcher told me, “enemies of freedom, antidemocratic, antiequality, highly prejudiced, mean-spirited, power hungry, Machiavellian and amoral.” And that’s not just his view. To the contrary, this is how these people have consistently described themselves when being anonymously tested, by the tens of thousands over the past several decades.


    …I hope that social scientists will begin to write about this issue for general readers. It is long past time to bring the telling results of their empirical work into the public square and to the attention of American voters. No less than the health of our democracy may depend on this being done. We need to stop thinking we are dealing with traditional conservatives on the modern stage, and instead recognize that they’ve often been supplanted by authoritarians.


  8. BigMediaBlog says:

    Here’s a quote from 911Commission member John Lehman: “It is ridiculous that five cities in the United States do not allow local police to cooperate with the federal immigration service… The terrorists know” which cities have such policies, Lehman said, naming Houston and Los Angeles among those cities.

    Perhaps “ProtectHouston” isn’t the best choice of a name.

  9. Commissioner Lehman is misinformed about Houston:

    Bob Rutt, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Houston, referred questions about the new legislation to ICE headquarters in Washington – where an answering system doesn’t accept messages.

    Last week, however, Rutt reinforced [HPD Chief Harold] Hurtt’s view, saying Houston police notify ICE when officers arrest people wanted by ICE. He said officers also call his agency when they suspect violent criminals might be in the country illegally, and they help out on some criminal operations.

    The department also flags criminal cases involving illegal immigrants when they are sent to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, so ICE agents can determine whether arrestees are in the country legally.

    “Houston is not a sanctuary city, by the definition,” Rutt told the Houston Chronicle on Saturday. “They do cooperate with us.”

  10. Dennis says:

    This is why Democrats lose elections in Texas. When we fail to represent the majority view, the majority does not vote for us. Yes, Sergio, cops would stop far more people who look like you than look like Mayor White. The vast majority of illegal immigrants in Houston probably look a lot like you too, as a matter of fact.

  11. Sergio D says:

    Enough said! Dennis and his infinite wisdom is essentially equating being Hispanic as being undocumented. And so what if documented Hispanics are questioned, after all they look ‘illegal’.

  12. Dennis says:

    C’mon Serge, enough with the Hispanic as victim mentality already. You know exactly what I am talking about. I have no problem at all with documented Hispanics being questioned about citizenship. In fact, I think all of us – WASP’s like me too – ought to be required to produce evidence of citizenship or naturalization status when getting a drivers license. Targeting the population that includes most of the illegals is not profiling, it’s common sense. What will Democrats have as a reason for our existence when we no longer have any influence in our political system?

  13. Locutor says:

    Well, turns out that at least some people are just fine with “You Vill Show Us Your Papers, Ja?”

    Yep, we’ve got plenty of people in this country of ours ready and willing to surrender what little liberty they have left, in order to have Strong Men save them from the scary Brown People.

    RIP, American Experiment in Democracy. Just the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.

  14. Charles Hixon says:

    “You Vill Show Us Your Papers, Ja?”
    Wohin gehen sie? Mexiko wünscht nicht jeder. Konzentration Lager? Guantanamo Bay ist bereits voll! Wir benötigen mehr Konzentration Lager! (dieses ist Satire)

  15. Support Science to Reverse Global Warming, Stop Thelma Bush and His Louise GOP's Pollution says:

    about Authoritarians:

    by John W. Dean

    Conservatives Without Conscience

    Another authoritarian characterist which is counterproductive to all of us surviving Global Warming, is their unquestioning, syncophantic submissiveness to authority whether right or wrong.

    Again, why would anyone trust Republicans (authoritarians) on any scientific matter, especially one as important as Global Warming, when Republicans (authoritarians) have been trying to silence, to ruin science exactly in regard to global warming.

    They are complete followers to an awful fault. They are complete lemmings, all the way over the cliff.

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