Fifteen Texas cities, including Fort Worth, are listed as "sanctuary cities" on www.sanctuarycities.info. The criteria for inclusion apparently can be as simple as a photo that shows "illegals standing in front of a city EMS station" with a police department building in the background.
Amazing how adept some folks are at identifying others' immigration status by looking at them.
Houston is on the list in large part because Gov. Rick Perry hammered away at former Mayor Bill White during the 2010 gubernatorial election about the Bayou City being a haven for illegal immigrants.
Emboldened by election-year rhetoric, Perry elevated so-called sanctuary cities to emergency status at the start of the 2011 legislative session, meaning legislation related to the issue can be fast-tracked for approval.
Perry does not demur from citing cities that fall into that ambiguous category other than Houston, nor does he acknowledge that Houston is a part of the federal Secure Communities program that requires jailers to compare fingerprints of those in the city hoosegow against criminal and immigration databases.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported that as of Sept. 30, more than 4.2 million fingerprint submissions nationwide resulted in 343,829 database matches. As a result of Secure Communities, ICE removed 64,072 persons through this program.
Every county will be enrolled in the program by 2013, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
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