Austin Local News
Reaction to ICE detainer requests denied
From Williamson County: "On Monday, March 20, 2017 DHS released their weekly declined detainer outcome report. This report is misleading and lists Williamson County Jail as an agency that refuses to cooperate with federal requests to detain undocumented immigrants. Williamson County Sheriff’s Office honors all ICE detainers placed on individuals and will continue to do so. The report stated that Williamson County refused four detention requests from January 28 to February 3.
The individuals listed on the report were arrested in Williamson County and a detainer was placed on all four individuals. They were later transferred to different jurisdictions where we believe ICE detainers are not honored. At this moment we cannot confirm the jurisdictions to which they were transferred. We will continue to look into it and will keep you informed."
Statement from Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Declined Detainer Outcome Report: March 20, 2017, "ICE’s mission is to enforce federal immigration laws. Travis County’s mission is to enforce state criminal laws. If a person is suspected of rape, murder or any other serious crime, Travis County will bring them to justice irrespective of where the accused was born. The crime rate in Travis County has steadily declined in recent years, dropping by approximately 30% since 2007. We are proud to have the lowest crime rate of any other major urbanized area in Texas. This data shows we are serious about public safety in Travis County. We concentrate on bringing the accused to justice. Questionable immigration status is not evidence in our state criminal justice system. If the accused is undocumented, that is a federal issue which ICE is free to pursue independently."
Rep. Smith Responds to ICE Report on Sanctuary Cities: WASHINGTON – Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) issued the following statement in response to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Declined Detainer Outcome Report (DDOR). This first edition of the report includes information specifically on immigration enforcement in Travis County (Texas).
Rep. Smith: “I’m glad to see that the Department of Homeland Security continues to battle sanctuary cities that violate federal law. This ensures that Americans know which cities continue to release dangerous criminal immigrants, putting innocent Americans at risk. I support the Trump Administration’s efforts to enforce laws that stop criminal immigrants from being released into the community.
“Travis County officials endanger innocent Texans when they release immigrants who have been convicted of crimes that include domestic violence, aggravated assault and DUIs. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 70 percent of violent offenders are arrested for a new crime within five years of release from jail or prison. I hope the County will comply with the spirit and letter of the law to protect the safety of Travis County residents.”
Background: The DDOR is a weekly report that shows local jurisdictions with the highest volume of criminal immigrants released due to local governments’ refusal to cooperate with federal immigration officials to ensure that these criminals remain in custody. It includes a list of crimes associated with those released individuals. The report is mandated by the president’s executive order “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.”
The report, which spans from January 28-February 3, 2017 includes nearly 150 individuals released from Travis County, part of which is included in the congressional district Congressman Smith represents. The DDOR report also details the narrow criteria Travis County uses to honor detainer requests from U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement. These include a court order or that the immigrant has a charge or conviction of Capital Murder, First Degree Murder, Aggravated Sexual Assault, or Continuous Smuggling of Persons.
142 Criminally Charged Illegal Immigrants Released By Travis County
AUSTIN – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today issued its first “Declined Detainer Outcome Report,” which highlights the Counties that are not cooperating with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests. From the time period between January 28 – February 3, 2017, 206 criminally charged illegal immigrants nationwide were released from custody due to the denial of ICE detainer requests. The worst offender was Travis County, which accounted for 142 (nearly 70%) of those released and charged with crimes including sexual assault, aggravated assault, domestic violence, and robbery.
“Today’s report from DHS is deeply disturbing and highlights the urgent need for a statewide sanctuary city ban in Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “The Travis County Sheriff’s decision to deny ICE detainer requests and release back into our communities criminals charged with heinous crimes – including sexual offenses against children, domestic violence and kidnapping – is dangerous and should be criminal in itself. Texas will act to put an end to sanctuary policies that put the lives of our citizens at risk.”
The report from DHS, which will be issued weekly, is pursuant to section 9(b) of Executive Order 13768, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.