HOUSTON – In a letter issued Friday to Harris County Sheriff-Elect Ed Gonzalez, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas congratulated him on his victory and offered its assistance in ending Harris County’s contract with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program known as 287(g).
The following may be attributed to Edgar Saldivar, Senior Staff Attorney of the ACLU of Texas:
“The 287(g) program is a failed experiment in immigration enforcement that has only served to waste scarce law enforcement resources, encourage unconstitutional racial profiling, and endanger public safety. We are eager to assist Sheriff-Elect Gonzalez in holding true to his campaign promise to end the program, as was approved loudly and clearly by the voters on Election Day.”
Under 287(g), ICE authorizes Harris County Sheriff deputies to do the work of federal immigration agents, including interrogating and arresting noncitizens suspected of violating immigration laws and placing detainers on alleged noncitizens held in Harris County custody—a practice which a federal court recently ruled was illegal. During his campaign, Sheriff-Elect Gonzalez promised to end the program because it was “dangerous for our families and our neighborhoods.”
The following may be attributed to Terri Burke, Executive Director of the ACLU of Texas:
“With all the racist and xenophobic rhetoric we’ve heard over the last year and a half, we welcome the opportunity to help our new Sheriff reassure our fellow Houstonians that this remains a warm, welcoming, and sensible city. Houston’s strength—indeed, the nation’s strength—has always been in its diversity, and we need to send a message on day one that fear and hatred have no place in our city nor our laws.”
Click the link below for the full ACLU letter to Sheriff-Elect Gonzalez.