LULAC Opposes the Targeting of the Houston Immigrant Population
June 22, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha, Jr. issued the following statement urging the County Commissioners Court of Houston to allow section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to expire on June 30. Under the program, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may deputize state and local law enforcement officers to perform the functions of federal immigration agents. Furthermore, under the contract, local law enforcement has access to federal immigration databases and may interrogate and arrest non-citizens that they believe have violated federal immigration laws.
“LULAC and the members of LULAC District VIII adamantly oppose the extension of the 287(g) contract because it violates people’s constitutional rights, it legalizes racial profiling, and separates families from their loved ones. Under the contract, routine sweeps of Latino neighborhoods are commonplace, and Latino drivers are stopped solely because of the color of their skin. The constant targeting of Latino immigrants by law enforcement is inconsistent with our country’s values and creates an environment of mistrust between the Latino community and law enforcement that Houston cannot afford. According to reports, Harris County has the second largest Latino population in the United States. In Houston, Latinos make up 44 percent of the population. Latinos are an integral part of Houston's diverse population, offering cultural and economic benefits that cannot be measured. The application of 287(g) flies in the face of all those benefits and must be allowed to expire.”
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.