sheriff greg hamilton
Corrections, justice, and public safety are three of the largest parts of the Travis County budget. Travis County has a responsibility to provide safety and security to all its residents. [node:read-more:link]
"Dozens of people rallied outside the Travis County Jail Tuesday evening, calling for an end to programs where local law enforcement share information about inmates with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Cristina Parker, immigration projects director for Grassroots Leadership, says 19 people are deported each week in Austin and Travis County as a result of information sharing programs. Right now, local law enforcement share inmate information with ICE, and ICE can then decide whether to deport the inmate. 'This is being felt in neighborhoods all across Austin and we want the leaders of our county, and our city, and our community to know that we care about this issue and we're going to fight for it,' she said." [node:read-more:link]
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.
"Local immigrant advocates applauded last week's executive order by President Barack Obama shielding millions from immediate deportation – particularly given the action's potential to dismantle the Secure Communities program that's already banished thousands of people from Travis County.
Cristina Parker, immigration projects coordinator forGrassroots Leadership, shared in the elation. She joined a group of some 30 demonstrators in front of the Capitol the day after the announcement in calling for even broader protections. 'S-Comm creates community distrust,' she said, quoting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. 'That's what we've been saying all along! We feel vindicated.'" [node:read-more:link]
Leaders in Travis County, especially Sheriff Greg Hamilton, have the chance to lead the way for Texas and renounce S-Comm as a harmful practice. But they haven’t — yet. We have the numbers to know that S-Comm is wasteful. We also know that it rips families apart unnecessarily. And yet we continue to comply...even in this progressive county. We should be able to take back our community from a terrible federal program that doesn’t meet our standards, as many others have already.
Traditionally liberal states like Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware and California are leading the way in the rejection of S-Comm. But so too are counties in places like like Doña Ana County in New Mexico and the parish of New Orleans—who changed their policies after they were sued for detaining someone without cause. Even Butler County, Kansas and Hall County, Nebraska—both in staunchly conservative states—and are taking initiative by deciding not to comply locally. Almost all of the counties in Colorado have decided not to comply with S-Comm.
While the Austin City Council is taking steps towards pushing the program out of our city, the County's policy remains on the wrong side of history. Just last night, Austin City Council proposed ammendments to an interlocal agreement about booking people at the local jail—but it remains up to the County to sign it.[node:read-more:link]
In a dialogue on October 15th with Grassroots Leadership Executive Director Bob Libal, Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition Executive Director Alejandro Caceres, and Texas Civil Rights Project Staff Attorney Amelia Fischer, Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton again defended his office’s participation in a federal program that helps deport immigrants arrested in Travis County. [node:read-more:link]
During the week-long South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, 19 people will be deported from Austin.
Travis County, and especially Austin, often holds itself out to be a progressive and welcoming community tucked into an otherwise very conservative state. We even take in hundreds of thousands of y’all during SXSW![node:read-more:link]