Judicial Watch Obtains 204 ICE Illegal Alien 'Detainer Requests' Denied by Travis County Sheriff

By Michael W. Chapman | April 11, 2017 | 1:30pm EDT

(ICE photo.) 

(CNSNews.com) -- The government watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained 204 illegal alien "detainer requests" from ICE that were denied by the sheriff's office in Travis County, Texas, and which included detainers for aliens charged with multiple crimes, including 58 DWIs, 34 acts of violence, 14 burglaries, drug possession and at least 6 firearms violations. There also were charges for three acts or threats of terrorism. 

Travis County, home to the Texas state capital of Austin, has a sanctuary policy -- the Travis County Sheriff's Office Policy on Cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) -- that limits how the county sheriff's office with cooperate with ICE. Essentially, the sheriff's office cooperates on detainer requests for illegal aliens if they have committed crimes such as murder or aggravated sexual assault.  

For other crimes committed by illegal aleins subject to a detainer, ICE must often present special warrants or judicial orders to get the sheriff's office to cooperate.

Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez. (AP) 

"These documents [detainer requests] provide disturbing evidence of how Travis County's sanctuary policy protects criminal illegal aliens, many of whom are dangerous felons, from deportation," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement. "Sanctuary policies such as these put the public's safety at risk." 

Back in February, the Austin American-Statesman reported that the Travis County sheriff's office had "declined 196 detention requests" from ICE. Judicial Watch subsequently filed a Public Information Act Request to the sheriff's office requesting the detainer documents and "any records provided to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement by the Travis County sheriff's office that declines the 196 detention requests."

The office complied and the documents, according to Judicial Watch,  showed that illegal aliens protected by the sanctuary policy had the following criminal records: 

58 DWIs

34 acts of violence (assault, aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon, etc.)

14 thefts/burglaries or other crimes against property

8 drug-possession charges

(AP photo.) 

6 firearms violations

45 other assorted felonies and misdemeanors (including contempt and failure to appear in court)

35 unlisted or unclassified charges (Note: Totals do not add due to multiple charges/convictions in some instances.)

According to Judicial Watch, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott "intends to support federal actions against sanctuary policies by signing legislation that could put sheriffs of sanctuary cities in jail. The governor announced $1.5 million in cuts for the county in response to Travis County Sheriff Hernandez's policy."

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