[Guest post by DRJ]
For years, Austin, Texas, was a sanctuary city that did not notify federal immigration authorities when it arrested known or suspected illegal immigrants … but maybe not anymore:
“Immigration agents will set up an office at the Travis County Jail to monitor the status of people booked into the facility.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will likely be stationed in the jail 24 hours a day, seven days a week in coming months, said Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton.
Until recently, federal immigration agents visited the jail occasionally to check the immigration status of inmates. They began increasing their presence in the facility late last year, leading to more immigration holds being placed on Travis County inmates for possible deportation, said Adrian Ramirez, assistant director for ICE’s San Antonio office.
An immigration hold is a legal order that says a jailed person should be released into ICE custody for possible deportation after completing the sentence.”
I suspect cases like Virginia “Jenny” Garcia’s rape and murder by an illegal immigrant (covered by Patterico in this Deport the Criminals First post) had something to do with this decision. The Travis County Sheriff publicly stated that he made this decision to increase public safety:
“Hamilton met with concerned community groups this week and said he decided to allow ICE agents to work out of the jail to improve joint efforts between local and federal law enforcement agencies to increase public safety.
“My contention is that the best way for (undocumented immigrants) to not come under scrutiny is to not commit crimes,” he said.”
Sheriff Hamilton is right and this could be a positive development for one of my favorite cities.