The Phoenix officers were in town presenting information on why their controversial law would work here in the Lone Star State.
Mark Spencer, president of the police union in Phoenix, where officers are already allowed to call immigration officials, said crime has dropped.
"It’s not based upon race. It’s based upon conduct," Spencer said. "The clear connection between those statistics is the crime of illegal immigration. We needed to be proactive [and use] common sense."
Support for similar legislation has spilled into Texas, and some state lawmakers plan to make a push for a law in January.
"We’ve got to secure our borders. We’ve got to do what is necessary to make sure that the safety and security of the citizens of Texas is well-established," State Rep. Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) said.
Opponents of such a law are already gearing up for a fight.
"We don’t believe that any collaboration with immigration and police should take place, because police are already overwhelmed with the criminals," Cesar Espinosa of Houston’s America For All said.
But would an Arizona-style law make Houston’s streets safer?
Houston’s police union is studying the numbers.
"If you look at the drastic reductions in homicides and auto theft crimes that occurred in Phoenix, I mean, we’d be stupid not to look into those things," Gary Blankinship of the Houston Police Officers’ Union said.
So far, the police union hasn’t declared an official position on whether Arizona’s law would be a good fit for Texas.
There were plenty of believers at the meeting Thursday, but it was just the first of many conversations on immigration reform ahead of the state’s next legislative session.
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