DHS: 142 criminally charged illegal immigrants released by Travis County in 1 week

March 20, 2017 - 2:09 pm
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(Austin/KJCE) According to a newly-released report from the Department of Homeland Security, Travis County released 142 criminally charged illegal immigrants in late January and early February, by declining detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The report, covering January 28 through February 3, 2017, details all of the denied detainer requests made by ICE across the country. Of the 206 releases nationwide, Travis County accounted for nearly 70% of those released and charged with crimes including sexual assault, aggravated assault, domestic violence, and robbery.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was quick to highlight the report, continuing his calls for legislation prohibiting sanctuary cities. "Today's report from DHS is deeply disturbing and highlights the urgent need for a statewide sanctuary city ban in Texas," said 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."

Congressman Lamar Smith responded to the report as well. "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."

In addition to Travis County, around Central Texas, Williamson County and Bastrop County were both listed as having denied detainer requests.

The DHS report will be released weekly, pursuant to section 9(b) of Executive Order 13768.

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