Austin poised to become first 'sanctuary city' in Texas

The Texas capital city is poised to become the first true "sanctuary city" in the Lonestar state.

AUSTIN (KENS) - The Texas capital city is poised to become the first true “sanctuary city” in the Lonestar state.

Democratic candidate for Travis County sheriff, Constable Sally Hernandez, has promised to get U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, out of the county jail. More specifically, she says she won’t hold inmates for ICE when the federal agency seeks to remove them from the country.

In some counties inmates are held for up to 48 hours — potentially a tad longer if the request covers all or part of a weekend. But in Travis County, ICE comes twice a day to pick up detainees, so generally they are handed over to the federal agency within a few hours of being released from custody on local charges, officials say.

Hernandez, who would take office in January, wants to change that. She said she will “no longer hold individuals in the Travis County jail who don’t have pending charges.” She said the reforms will make the county safer by encouraging more immigrants, now afraid of deportation, to help authorities solve crimes.


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