Calling themselves “Pastores en Accion” a group of flag waving and sign carrying local pastors and their followers gathered at City Hall Tuesday afternoon.
They came to pray for Mayor Bill White so that he would have “a change of heart about his plans to increase the immigration enforcement authority of the Houston Police Department.”
They are upset that the Mayor has applied for what is called a 287 (g) grant through the Department of Homeland Security.
If approved, the city would use the funds to train about 20 – 25 personnel at the two Houston city jails, on how to ask criminals about their immigration status.
The Pastors say this type of program has failed in other cities, and more importantly, they believe it will tear apart families and make immigrants more distrustful of the police.
Mayor White says that the policy, which would be consistent with the policy of the Harris County Jails, would only target so called, “deportable felons.”
The Mayor says he sought the change after illegal immigrants with extensive criminal backgrounds were involved in the shootings of two Houston police officers.