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  1. #1
    Senior Member steelerbabe's Avatar
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    House Puts Pressure on'Sanctuary' Cities

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4014183.html

    June 30, 2006, 2:00AM
    House puts pressure on 'sanctuary' cities
    Rep. Culberson's measure threatens to cut off funding


    By MATT STILES
    Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

    Local officials continued to debate police policy toward illegal immigrants Thursday after the U.S. House passed a Houston lawmaker's measure that would cut off federal crime-fighting money to cities with sanctuary policies.

    The House overwhelmingly approved a spending bill containing an amendment by U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, intended to force state and local authorities to get more involved with immigration enforcement — or risk losing millions in federal grants.

    In a news release on his amendment, Culberson listed Houston among cities that "have adopted sanctuary policies which prevent law enforcement officers from inquiring about immigration status."

    Mayor Bill White, Police Chief Harold Hurtt and the top federal official charged with local immigration enforcement maintain the city doesn't have a sanctuary policy.

    Responding to that assertion Thursday, Culberson said, "If they are in compliance with the law, and they can prove it to the Justice Department, then they don't have anything to worry about."

    The Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan research arm of the House and Senate, in 2004 included Houston among sanctuary cities.

    Culberson said the amendment passed Thursday, and others he has attached to unrelated spending bills, are necessary to combat the government's "widespread and systematic refusal to protect our border and enforce the immigration laws."

    The measure won't become law unless it is approved by the Senate, which is set to debate a similar bill later this summer, and signed by President Bush.

    Culberson's amendment states that federal funding can't be granted to governments that defy a section in federal law stating that cities and states shouldn't prohibit or restrict their officials from exchanging information with federal immigration authorities.

    Local officials say the Police Department doesn't have such restrictions, and some criticized Culberson's threat to cut off federal crime-fighting money.

    "He is basically punishing people in his district and every congressional district in our city," said Councilwoman Carol Alvarado. "He has misinterpreted what our policy is."

    Alvarado dismissed the measure as "election year" politics, playing to voters angry about illegal immigration.

    She also pledged to "launch an all-out campaign" against an effort by a local group to put a city charter amendment on November's ballot that would permit police to ask the immigration status of people they encounter in routine situations.

    Such inquiries are prohibited under a 1992 Police Department general order.

    On Thursday, White disputed the notion that the order constitutes a sanctuary policy, and said the city needs the money Culberson's amendment targets.

    "Federal funding is essential for Houston's efforts to fight crimes, especially the war against drugs," the mayor said in a written statement.


    Irony on day of passage
    The House measure passed the same day that Hurtt announced that the city had received $18 million from the Justice Department to help combat a spike in violent crimes and buy new equipment.

    Hurtt repeatedly has denied the city has a sanctuary policy.

    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 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."

    Culberson attached the amendment to the nearly $60 billion Science, State, Justice and Commerce Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2007. The overall bill includes $2.7 billion in assistance to state and local law enforcement for a variety of purposes, from crime fighting to reimbursement for housing illegal immigrants.

    Chronicle reporters Gebe Martinez in Washington, Alexis Grant in Houston and Reuters news service contributed to this report.

    matt.stiles@chron.

  2. #2
    Senior Member curiouspat's Avatar
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    The measure won't become law unless it is approved by the Senate, which is set to debate a similar bill later this summer, and signed by President Bush.
    Here we go again. Who thinks the Senate will pass it and Bush sign it?
    TIME'S UP!
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    Why should <u>only</u> AMERICAN CITIZENS and LEGAL immigrants, have to obey the law?!

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    Senior Member loservillelabor's Avatar
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    I don't know who will do what, but it is imperative to keep hammering for this approach. Citizens tax dollars in the billions are being sent to localities that have not joined "the war on terror." There should be no rewards for cities that "look the other way" so they can gain the trust of their criminals.
    Unemployment is not working. Deport illegal alien workers now! Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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    Senior Member curiouspat's Avatar
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    loservillelabor,

    I agree! And that's one of my big problems with Miami.

    Can't wait to move! Arrgh, just 2 more weeks
    TIME'S UP!
    **********
    Why should <u>only</u> AMERICAN CITIZENS and LEGAL immigrants, have to obey the law?!

  5. #5
    Senior Member steelerbabe's Avatar
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    curiouspat: Where are you moving to? My brother use to live right outside of Miami in Miami Lakes. He moved 10 years ago.

  6. #6
    Senior Member curiouspat's Avatar
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    Hi steelerbabe,

    I'm moving to Aztlan, , the Seattle area. I've got family there, so will get the moral support I need while taking care of my mom.

    Don't know how it is there, in the illegal alien sense, but will at least be there with my family, during the upcoming pivotal years.

    2 weeks

    Gotta pack, would much rather be doing this!!!!

    I sneak online to multitask, while I'm waiting for Mom to finish something or another.
    TIME'S UP!
    **********
    Why should <u>only</u> AMERICAN CITIZENS and LEGAL immigrants, have to obey the law?!

  7. #7
    Senior Member steelerbabe's Avatar
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    Good luck with the move! Last July, we moved from Chantilly, Virginia to Bethel Park, Pa. One husband, two children, three cats, two dogs, and three hermit crabs We are coming up on our one year anniversary and I can honestly say it feels like home. We don't have family in the area but are blessed to have sibilings and good friends who have made the trek to visit. Good luck with everything!

  8. #8
    Senior Member curiouspat's Avatar
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    Thanks, steelerbabe. Good thoughts are appreciated!!!!
    TIME'S UP!
    **********
    Why should <u>only</u> AMERICAN CITIZENS and LEGAL immigrants, have to obey the law?!

  9. #9
    Senior Member LegalUSCitizen's Avatar
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    The measure won't become law unless it is approved by the Senate, which is set to debate a similar bill later this summer, and signed by President Bush.
    There's nothing he'd like more than to sign SOMETHING at this point. I do believe that he's much more open to a stronger bill now. It's the Senate that is making everything so hard. That's the way it looks to me. Maybe I'm wrong.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  10. #10
    Senior Member patbrunz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curiouspat
    I'm moving to Aztlan, , the Seattle area.
    Hope you like rain.
    All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke

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