HOUSTON — Mayor Sylvester Turner has a message for immigrants and refugees shaken by Donald Trumps upcoming move into the White House: it changes nothing.
Turner announced his administrations plan for welcoming and reaching out to Houston's immigrants and refugee community. He is working to help ease fears of discrimination and mistreatment among immigrant communities after the strong rhetoric used in the 2016 election.
"The city that existed prior to the election is the same city that exists today," the mayor said.
Houston is considered among the most diverse metropolitan areas in the nation. In fact, one in four Houston residents were born overseas with more than 90 countries represented in the Bayou City.
"Houston is a city of immigrants and refugees," Turner said. "They have a long and deep rooted role in making the city of Houston what it is today."
He is one of many mayors who wrote a letter to President-elect Donald Trump about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The initiative grants certain undocumented minors a renewable exemption from deportation, and eligibility for two-year work permits.
"I believe that it is essential that we do everything that we can to protect these kids from being deported from the United States," Turners said.
HISD Superintendent, Richard Carranza says students of illegal families need not worry.
"Our schools are safe and that they will not be places where immigration raids will take place," Turner said.
The Houston Police Department is also here to help! HPD Chief Art Acevedo urges the immigrant and refugee community to feel comfortable reporting criminal activity. Immigrants who are victims of a crime or have information regarding criminal activity should not be afraid to contact police regardless of their individual status, the chief said.