HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Local politicians have spoken out about President Trump's ICE raids, vehemently against the idea.
Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia has already made pleas to Trump to change his mind.
Senator Borris L. Miles, representing District 13, released the following statement on Saturday afternoon:
"I am disheartened and dismayed of the reports that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials will be conducting large-scale immigration raids in Houston this weekend. These raids only serve as propaganda and fear-mongering and divert attention from the humanitarian crisis at the Texas border caused by the federal government.
These raids are not about crime. The federal government has the resources and ability to target and track dangerous criminals without the need to terrorize vulnerable families, many of whom are already fleeing violence in their native countries. The intent is to strike fear to the millions of undocumented individuals in our country who abide by our laws, contribute to our economy, pay taxes and only want a path to citizenship.
Senate District 13 is the most diverse district in Texas, with many immigrant communities of color that call it home. These raids are un-American and I stand strongly opposed to them.
To my brothers and sisters of the immigrant community, if you have questions about your legal rights as an immigrant, please contact the Houston Immigration Rights Hotline at 1-833-HOU-IMMI (468-4664). This hotline is a project of the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative, Boat People SOS, BakerRipley, United We Dream, Houston Volunteer Lawyers, and The ACLU of Texas.
Keep the Faith, Keep the Fight!"
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has also denounced the raids set to take place this weekend, releasing the following statement:
"The president's order for concentrated ICE raids against immigrant families in Houston and elsewhere stands against everything we represent as a welcoming city. I do not support raids against innocent people who have come to this country to escape violence in their homeland or have come here to build a better life for their families. As mayor, I stand with all Houstonians regardless of their documentation status.
"In our city where one in four residents is foreign born, I want immigrants to feel safe when accessing city services, especially when they need to call the police to report crimes or visit the Health Department. I have reminded city departments that we will continue offering services to all our residents regardless of who they are, where they are from, or their documentation status. Our job is to keep the city running and maintain public safety in our neighborhoods. Our job is not to be ICE – we do not deport people or break up families. In fact ICE has not contacted me about the raids in Houston. We are not working or cooperating with ICE on such raids.
"I also remind Houstonians that they are entitled to due process in accordance with the laws of the United States. To that effect, I encourage people to contact the immigrant rights hotline at 1-833-468-4664 for legal assistance."
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo also issued a statement in response to the upcoming raids:
"As we anticipate Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids on immigrant families starting Sunday, I encourage everyone to know their rights when interacting with ICE agents. Every person in our community has the right to due process. You are not required to answer the door if the agent can't present a warrant, which can be shown to you through a window or slipped under a door. Once you open the door, agents can search your home and make arrests -- even of people not listed on the warrant.
I know this can be an incredibly stressful time for our community, and I would encourage anyone with questions to call the Houston Immigrants' Rights Hotline: 1-833-HOU-IMMI (468-4664), which will be staffed on Sunday. You will be connected with an attorney free of charge, and if no one is available, your call will be returned within 24 hours.
These raids seek to subvert our sense of community by putting the very heart of Harris County -- our diversity -- in the crosshairs of a shameful political maneuver. When I visited an adult detention center in Livingston recently, I witnessed first-hand the effects of the White House criminalizing the American Dream, as immigrants seeking asylum languished in a disorganized, demoralizing purgatory. Basic human rights should not be contingent on a set of documents. We will continue to support and advocate for the safety, security, and dignity of all Harris County residents.
We received no notice from any governmental agency regarding this operation, and we will continue to work with community and government leaders to seek answers and ensure that community members have access to the right information and resources. My office will not assist in any raids and will continue to advocate for reforms, while also exploring everything we can do at the county to support legal representation work or otherwise try to bring about better outcomes for those in our community who come into contact with this deeply flawed system."