Despite overwhelming opposition, Harris County commissioners court approves 287g agreement

287gvote

Speaking truth to power. Power does not listen.

We want to thank all the folks that came out on Tuesday to show opposition to racial profiling by Houston law enforcement and stand up for immigrant communities. Despite packing the meeting room with opponents of the program, and the vast majority of speakers opposing the program, the commisioners voted 4 to 1 to join this program. Judge Ed Emmet, Jerry Eversol, Steve Radack, and El Franco Lee (who as commissioner for precinct 1 represents the University of Houston) voted in favor of the program. Only Sylvia Garcia voted against the program.

The event was relatively well covered by local media (in that they talked about it on tv, not that they put it in context or examined the racist and bad public policy behind the program), check out these stories:

ABC 13 coverage (this one has a poll on if you support 287g. Vote no!)

NBC Chanel 2 coverage

Fox Houston coverage

Chanel 39 CW coverage

Houston Chronicle (the version in the printed edition has a quote from Eric of SDS!)

Houston Press Hair Balls Blog (by Liana Lopez of the Nuestra Palabra crew)

The Daily Cougar’s coverage

Photos from 287g vote and protest at County Commissioners Office on Houston Indymedia

Local and regional groups fighting 287g and for immigrant rights, including SDS, are meeting today and are going to be working on developing strategies to try and document the impact this will have on Houston families, the expenses this will place on Harris County at a time when they are cutting social services, and the likely increase in racial profiling that will result.

In Irving Texas, when the local police entered into a CAP agreement (a similar program to 287g that gives access to immigration records in their city jail) with ICE in 2006, arrest records have shown an increase in arrests of Latinos for petty offenses. The University of California at Berkley Law School wrote a report [download pdf] that exposes the expansion of racial profiling that took place once they reached an agreement with ICE.

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