A Texas sheriff has blown the lid of the federal government's new deportation program, admitting that it's just like the disgraced "Secure Communities" program.
Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton has faced intense local pressure to opt out of S-Comm but has been vocal about his support for S-comm and working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in general. The sheriff and ICE have even been eager pen pals.
So you can believe Sheriff Hamilton when he says that the "Priority Enforcement Program" or PEP-Comm, which is supposed to replace S-Comm, is just the same thing with a new name.
Travis County Commissioners asked Sheriff Hamilton to answer some questions about PEP-Comm earlier this year. In response to a question from Commissioner Margaret Gomez about the change from S-Comm to PEP-Comm, Sheriff Hamilton tells her, "It's pretty close to it... all they did was change the name."
Sheriff Hamilton has said from the day that the Administration cancelled S-Comm nationwide that he would continue to cooperate with any and all requests from ICE. It looks like he meant it. The deportation rate in Travis County, Texas, home to so-called liberal oasis Austin, continues to be one of the highest in the state and the U.S. An average of 19 people a week are deported from Travis County.
Sheriff Hamilton is right. S-Comm rolls on in Travis County as PEP-Comm. All they did was change the name.