By Philip Jankowski
In a Wednesday evening dialogue that at moments turned heated, Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton again defended his office’s participation in a federal program that helps deport immigrants arrested in Travis County.
The county currently participates voluntarily in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement program known as Secure Communities, which places detainers on individuals who have been arrested by local authorities and may be in the country illegally.
The Travis County Democratic Party will be hosting a Public Forum on Secure Communities on October 15th from 6pm-8pm at the Mexican American Cultural Center located at 600 River Street, Austin, TX.
This forum was scheduled as a result of the resolution passed by the Travis County Democratic Party calling for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office to end compliance with ICE’s Secure Communities deportation program. Our mission is to help create a healthy dialogue concerning this issue and extend the conversation to the community at large.
• Sheriff Greg Hamilton, Travis County Sheriff’s Office
• Alejandro Caceres, Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition
• Amelia Ruiz Fischer, Texas Civil Rights Project
• Satinder Singh, American Civil Liberties Union of Texas
• Bob Libal, Grassroots Leadership
For further information, please email: Kristian@traviscountydemocrats.org
***Childcare will be provided***
***Livestream will be available at: https://new.livestream.com/accounts/9407203/events/3491451***
On October 11th we joined groups from San Antonio, Houston and Dallas at the private prison in Karnes City where immigrant women and children are currently detained to protest the inhumane practice of family detention.
Family detention is expanding to reach a level that hasn’t been seen since Japanese Internment during World War I.
The nation’s largest family prison is slated to open in Dilley, Texas and will hold 2,400 mothers and children.
For more information, you can view this report from Grassroots Leadership on the increase in family detention: http://grassrootsleadership.org/profit-family-detention-meet-private-prison-corporations-making-millions-locking-refugee-families
By Tony Cantú
When defending his aggressive implementation of the federal Secure Communities program – an Immigration and Customs Enforcement initiative that has led to the deportation of some 5,000 undocumented immigrants since 2009 – Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton often suggests his deputies’ hands are tied, compelled by law to reflexively enforce the program by placing 48-hour holds on arrested immigrants while their legal status is determined.
But internal emails between the Travis County Sheriff’s Office and ICE officials reveal a much more collaborative relationship – a near-daily dialogue between the agencies tantamount to a continual implementation primer, including reliance on ICE for press advisories later tweaked by the TCSO for a locally generated feel.
Below is a link to the video of the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition’s testimony in front of the County Commission at Travis County Budget Hearings on Sep 13, 2014 (begins at 3:34:50).
Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition Testimony
(*Microsoft Silverlight and/or Windows Media Player may need to be installed to view this clip.)