Members of Pastores en Acción (Pastors in Action), Crecen and other immigrant-rights groups protested outside City Hall earlier today. Their concern is Mayor Bill White's request to participate in Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, a program that would provide members of the Houston Police Department jail staff the training and authority to enforce immigration laws. The pastors, who say they are defending their immigrant congregations, say they want Mayor Bill White to reconsider and withdraw his request for 287(g) funding.
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Frank Michel, Communications Director for the Mayor, tells Hair Balls that the Mayor made his request for 287(g) funding because it would in no way change the practices or policies for the average Houston police officer on the street (rather a handful of officers at the booking center would have access to additional federal data bases when checking identities) and the 287(g) program has already been implemented at the Harris County Jail without incident.