Last Updated: Mon, 05/11/2009 - 3:15pm
Outraged by the brutal shootings of two officers, the largest police union in one of the nation’s biggest illegal alien sanctuary cities wants to end a longtime policy that prohibits officers from questioning residents about their immigration status.
The Houston Police Officer’s Union in Texas is calling on city and department leaders to eliminate a 17-year-old policy that could have prevented two of its officers from being gunned down by previously deported criminals who never the less returned to the city because it has long offered illegal aliens official sanctuary.
One of the officers (Rodney Johnson) was murdered during a routine traffic stop by a Mexican illegal who had been deported in 2004 for molesting a child and subsequently arrested for driving intoxicated, driving with a suspended license and failing to stop and provide information after an automobile accident. The illegal alien, Juan Quintero, shot Officer Johnson four times in the back of the head with a 9 millimeter handgun hidden in the waistband of his pants.
Last month another Houston officer was shot in the face by an illegal immigrant drug lord while attempting to serve a narcotics warrant at a house. The illegal alien from El Salvador had been arrested five times for possession or delivery of drugs, including three times after an immigration judge granted him voluntary departure in 2001.
Texas has several major sanctuary cities—including Austin, El Paso, Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio—that forbid law enforcement agencies from asking suspects about their immigration status. Houston, the state’s largest city, is estimated to have nearly half a million illegal immigrants who will remain protected under the law.
Both the mayor and the police chief refuse to change the sanctuary policy, even after the police union’s request. The city’s assistant police chief said the department’s don’t-ask-don’t-tell immigration policy is necessary to combat crime in immigrant communities. The mayor, Bill White, says his administration has no plans to change a policy it considers crucial to policing city neighborhoods.