HOUSTON — As President Donald Trump moves forward with his plans for the long-promised wall along Mexico's border, local activists are pushing for immigration reform in Harris County.
Immigration advocates gathered in front of the Harris County Sheriff's Office headquarters Thursday to protest the federal 287G program, which seeks to allow local-level enforcement of federal immigration law.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said he has concerns about intimidating immigrant communities.
"We want to make sure that they feel safe to be able come and cooperate with our deputies," Gonzalez said.
Mayor Sylvester Turner released a statement echoing the same sentiment.
"HPD is not the immigration and naturalization service," Turner said. "We don't profile, and we are not going to start profiling people to determine whether they are here illegally."
At the same time, the chief of the U.S. Border Patrol is backing out of the controversy completely and has resigned from his position just one day after Trump signed an order to beef up the agency.
Thursday, The president visited Philadelphia while groups marched the streets in protest against several executive orders signed in the week before. The president spoke to congressional Republican leaders to iron out their agenda for 2017.
The president of Mexico is none too pleased with their ideas. Enrique Pena Nieto canceled his trip to the U.S. capital that planned for next week and insisted Mexico will not pay for Trump's wall.
The White House said the structure will be paid for using a 20-percent tax on all imports from Mexico. Some estimates put the cost of the wall between $12 and $15 billion.