Mike Kueber's Blog

May 8, 2012

A sheriff who helps ICE is in political trouble in Travis County

Filed under: Culture,Issues,Law/justice,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 2:26 am
Tags: , ,

The Texas Tribune published an interesting article today describing a major issue in the election of the Travis County sheriff.  Travis County voters are being asked whether to re-elect a sheriff who cooperates with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  This cooperation consists of reporting to ICE all Travis County jail inmates and then holding for 48 hours those inmates who ICE determines are here illegally.  Within those 48 hours, ICE has time to come and get the inmates for deportation. 

This cooperation between Travis County and the federal government would seem to be a good thing, unlike the internecine fighting in places like Arizona, but Travis County is a liberal hotbed in Texas and it sometimes believes that the practical policies of the Obama administration’s ICE are insufficiently enlightened.  And that explains why a Democratic sheriff enforcing the Obama policy is in danger of being outflanked on the left. 

The sheriff’s opponent in the Democratic primary is quoted in the Tribune article as saying, “I was appalled to see what it was doing to the Hispanic community and the immigrant community here.  I felt like it was very inhumane to be lazy and not do the research and say, ‘We’ll just hold everybody for deportation and not even mess with the particulars.’”  Apparently, the sheriff’s opponent wants the sheriff’s office to decide which arrested individuals have crimes that aren’t serious enough to justify deportation. 

Only in America would a person who is in the country illegally and then is arrested for allegedly committing a crime be released back into the community because the alleged crime was not serious enough to justify deportation.  A naive person might think that being in the country illegally is enough to justify deportation, let alone being here illegally and then getting arrested for a separate crime. 

With sanctuaries like Travis County, illegal immigration will never stop .

Incidentally, the Tribune article pointed out that Travis County appears to have a disproportionate number of illegal immigrants deported under this ICE program when compared to Bexar County (San Antonio).  The comparison is suspect, though, because it is based on the population of those two counties, not on number of illegal immigrants in each county.  I can’t find it now, but I remember seeing a report about a year ago that revealed the number of illegal immigrants in Bexar County was surprisingly low compared to DFW, Houston, and I, believe, Austin.  That would explain why Travis County has so many deportations.  And Austin’s sanctuary sentiment would also explain why so many illegal immigrants are attracted to Austin. 

As Ronald Reagan said, subsidize something and you get more of it, so you need to be careful what you subsidize.


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