Houston city officials claim Texas' new sanctuary cities ban will hurt law enforcement efforts, but one major city reports a sharp drop in crime since eliminating its sanctuary status.
According to City-Data.com, the murder rate in Phoenix dropped 27-percent, while most other crime also decreased just one year after removing its sanctuary status in 2008. But Houston officials insist illegal aliens who witness crime will be too afraid to talk with police.
“That's a false narrative I've heard out of every major city in America, but in all my time in law enforcement, illegal aliens very seldom talk to police about anything, much less about crime,” says Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Canterubury also disputes the argument that local police are not trained to enforce immigration laws, adding that Immigration and Customs Enforcement provides that training.
“It's merely a phone call to ICE, so I'm sure that everybody that works for the Houston Police Department and or corrections knows how to dial a phone,” he says.
Canterbury says local officials are playing a dangerous game of politics. “I think it's a misplaced worry by politicians that they're going to lose elections rather than looking out for what's best for the citizens.”
Neither Houston's mayor nor police chief responded to emails seeking comment.