Immigrants Are Often Afraid of Police - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/17/06 - Nacogdoches

Immigrants Are Often Afraid of Police

by Donna McCollum

Martha Rico manages a store that carries mostly Mexican products. It's equipped with surveillance and an alarm system that alerts police. Rico said, "I've been here in Nacogdoches for five years and we own the store and every time the alarm goes off they are here."

Rico trusts the local police, but she knows immigrants who would never call police no matter how badly they're needed. "We do have a lot of Hispanic people who are afraid of police officers. I do not know why. Maybe it's because they just came here." They fear primarily deportation. Rico is in the U.S. legally and isn't concerned with INS. Neither is Nacogdoches Police Chief Jim Sevy. "We are not border patrol agents. We're not INS agents and we're not there to enforce the federal immigration laws. We're there to serve the needs of the people in our community," said Sevy.

The chief says he wants to involve immigrants in police programs. He's including them in an upcoming survey. "Part of that survey is specifically directed toward Mexican American citizens of our community. When I say citizens, I'm not talking about their immigration status. I'm talking about their residency," said the chief. Fear of police and deportation makes illegal immigrants easy targets for criminals. That's prompting police departments nationwide to try outreach programs to build trust with residents. Several are being tried out in Texas.

The employees at Tienda La Raza are documented and never hesitate to call police. They also tell the people who are undocumented that they should never be afraid to call for help. Rico says, "Don't be afraid to call 911. They are here to help us. They're here to help all type of people."

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Community rallies behind newborn after overcoming obstacles left behind by Hurricane Harvey

    Community rallies behind newborn after overcoming obstacles left behind by Hurricane Harvey

    Sunday, September 24 2017 7:23 PM EDT2017-09-24 23:23:50 GMT
    (Source: Crystal Sepulvado)(Source: Crystal Sepulvado)

    When Crystal and Shane Sepulvado learned they were pregnant with their third child, they were ecstatic. But immediately Crystal knew something was not right, as relied on her experience working at an OB-GYN office. "When we looked at the ultrasound, we has seen fluid around her heart," Crystal said. Doctors later explained to the couple that their unborn child had a hole between her ventricles. With an early pregnancy, the couple was rushed to Houston,...

    More >>

    When Crystal and Shane Sepulvado learned they were pregnant with their third child, they were ecstatic. But immediately Crystal knew something was not right, as relied on her experience working at an OB-GYN office. "When we looked at the ultrasound, we has seen fluid around her heart," Crystal said. Doctors later explained to the couple that their unborn child had a hole between her ventricles. With an early pregnancy, the couple was rushed to Houston,...

    More >>
  • Defense questions investigator in third day of Henderson trial

    Defense questions investigator in third day of Henderson trial

    Friday, September 22 2017 7:19 PM EDT2017-09-22 23:19:49 GMT
    James Henderson's defense attorney, Stanley Sokolowski, started off the third day of court by questioning the state's witness, Investigator Bill Rulland. The cross examination lasted most of the morning and even a little into the afternoon. According to Investigator Michael Molnes, with the Houston County Sheriff's Office, Sokolowski attempted to discredit Brenna Theuer's witness testimony, as well as testimony from Robert Mobley.  The trial is expected to head into closing arg...More >>
    James Henderson's defense attorney, Stanley Sokolowski, started off the third day of court by questioning the state's witness, Investigator Bill Rulland. The cross examination lasted most of the morning and even a little into the afternoon. According to Investigator Michael Molnes, with the Houston County Sheriff's Office, Sokolowski attempted to discredit Brenna Theuer's witness testimony, as well as testimony from Robert Mobley.  The trial is expected to head into closing arg...More >>
  • Tar-covered tires stick to parking lot of Lufkin tire shop

    Tar-covered tires stick to parking lot of Lufkin tire shop

    Friday, September 22 2017 7:09 PM EDT2017-09-22 23:09:01 GMT
    More than a few tar-covered tires are hanging on to the parking lot of a Lufkin tire shop.  On August 31, newly laid asphalt on Loop 287 started sticking to tires of those driving, leaving many of the cars un-driveable. As of Friday, the Texas Department of Transportation hadn't come out with an official cause for the incident, but that hasn't stopped over 600 people from filing claims with them. Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.More >>
    More than a few tar-covered tires are hanging on to the parking lot of a Lufkin tire shop.  On August 31, newly laid asphalt on Loop 287 started sticking to tires of those driving, leaving many of the cars un-driveable. As of Friday, the Texas Department of Transportation hadn't come out with an official cause for the incident, but that hasn't stopped over 600 people from filing claims with them. Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.More >>
Powered by Frankly