Newsmakers Feb. 19: Immigration: Houston impact, sanctuary cities bill

HOUSTON – Paul Simpson is the chair of the Harris County Republican Party and says the recent “outrage” about the sanctuary cities bill is misplaced.

The Texas Senate passed the bill known as SB4 that will punish cities, law enforcement agencies and colleges that don’t cooperate with immigration officials. “That bill specifically says that you cannot target any groups,” Simpson said. “They’re actually funding an outreach program, an educational program, to inform communities what this program is all about. And again victims, witnesses of crimes are exempted. People involved in domestic violence are exempted.” 

Simpson got pushback from guests on this week's "Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall." 

Gordon Quan is an immigration attorney and former Houston City Council member.

“Our Police Department is short on manpower right now. I’m working with the Sheriff’s Office. They’re also short on manpower,” Quan said. “So one of the things the bill also does is it penalizes the law enforcement officers themselves that can hold them in contempt and they can lose their jobs.”

Charles Foster is chair of the Greater Houston Partnership Task Force on Immigration.

[Newsmakers interview with Gordan Quan]

He advised President George W. Bush on immigration policy during both of his terms and has spent decades on the front line of immigration issues in the United States.

Geoffrey Hoffman is the director of the Immigration Clinic at the UH Law Center. He said the challenge for all Americans who want to debate immigration policy is to understand its deep complexities.

”People see it as a black and white issue. You’re an illegal immigrant or you’re a legal immigrant,” Hoffman said. “But there may be people who are undocumented but then they have claims for relief like asylum. They fear to go back.”

[Newsmakers interview with Geoffrey Hoffman]

Immigration continues to be a hot topic nationally and locally. The passionate discussion is this week’s "Houston Newsmakers."

"Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall," airs every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. after "Meet the Press" on KPRC Channel 2.

More Information:

• Paul Simpson, chairman, Harris County Republican Party, vice president of Global Initiatives, 713-838-7900 , www.HarrisCountyGOP.com 

• Gordon Quan, Quan Law Group, 713-625-9200, www.QuanLaw.com

• Charles Foster, Foster Global Immigration, 713-229-8733, www.FosterGlobal.com

• Geoffrey Hoffman, LL.M, director Immigration Clinic, UH Law Center, 713-743-2100,  http://www.law.uh.edu/faculty/main.asp?PID=1586

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