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Immigration Law

ICE, Austin Are E-Mail Pen-Pals

"When defending his aggressive implementation of the federal Secure Commun­ities program – an Immigration and Cus­toms Enforcement initiative that has led to the deportation of some 5,000 undocumented immigrants since 2009 – Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton often suggests his deputies' hands are tied, compelled by law to reflexively enforce the program by placing 48-hour holds on arrested immigrants while their legal status is determined.  But internal emails between the Travis County Sheriff's Office and ICE officials reveal a much more collaborative relationship – a near-daily dialogue between the agencies tantamount to a continual implementation primer, including reliance on ICE for press advisories later tweaked by the TCSO for a locally generated feel.  The emails were obtained recently by Amelia Ruiz Fischer, an attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project, and she shared them with the Chronicle." - Tony Cantú, Austin Chronicle, Oct. 10, 2014.