Houston Mayor Emphatically Debunks Immigration Rumor, Potentially Saving Lives

"I and others will be the first ones to stand up with you."

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is making sure to put safety over politics in the floods following Hurricane Harvey, which is still wreaking havoc in parts of Texas and Louisiana as a tropical storm.

Per The Hill, Turner announced in a press conference on August 28 that he will protect any undocumented immigrants seeking safety from Harvey against deportation. Declaring, "there is absolutely no reason" why any individual shouldn't call for help, Turner added, "I and others will be the first ones to stand up with you." 

Making his position abundantly clear, the mayor continued, "If you need help and someone comes and they require help, and then for some reason, then somebody tries to deport them, I will represent them myself, OK?" His bold statement and personal assurance may save lives by ensuring that people feel comfortable asking for needed help.

The mayor and the City of Houston have also taken to Twitter to debunk any immigration status rumors and, in no uncertain terms, outline the city's safety over politics stance.

Mashable notes the mayor also made clear any worries about SB 4 — AKA the "show me your papers" law scheduled to go into effect in Houston next month that wouldn't prevent law enforcement from asking someone who's been detained about their immigration status — should be shelved.

With Houston's designation as a sanctuary city possibly in jeopardy as the current administration looks to crackdown on illegal immigration, Turner emphatically stated that people of all backgrounds should seek help if needed because they will be protected no matter what. "If you are in a stressful situation, I don't care who you are, I don't care what your religion is, I don't care what your language is, you come and take advantage of every service that we have," he said.

When it boils down to it, the mayor wanted the people of Houston to know their lives and their safety are more important than their immigration status.

Though Mayor Turner has faced some criticism for not ordering residents of Houston to evacuate ahead of Harvey, he has made his dedication to his city clear in more ways than one. Before the storm had even dissipated, Mayor Turner established the Greater Houston Community Foundation — a broad-based relief fund aimed at helping Houston rebuild homes, businesses, infrastructure, and more. 


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