In a time of tragedy, we are supposed to be able to look to leaders for guidance and protection. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is working to provide exactly that in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
In a press conference on Monday morning, Turner said the immigrant community of Houston should not be afraid to seek help and shelter because of their legal status.
“There is absolutely no reason why anyone should not call [for help],” Turner told reporters, according to Houston Public Media. “And I and others will be the first ones to stand up with you. If someone comes and they require help and then for some reason [someone] tries to deport them, I will represent them myself.”
Turner answered a question about Senate Bill 4, the state’s immigration enforcement law that forces citizens to “show their papers.” Governor Greg Abbott signed the law, but while it’s scheduled to go into effect on Friday, a federal judge might postpone it in response to a suit by several cities and counties challenging its constitutionality.
“I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what your status is,” he said. “I do not want you to run the risk of losing your life or [that of] a family member because you’re concerned about SB 4 or anything else.”
As an attorney himself, Turner also volunteered to represent anyone who is deported after calling for help. In a time of crisis, Turner remains a man of all the people—which is all we can can hope for in situations like these.