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Battle Builds Over ICE Program To Deport Jail Inmates

Updated: Friday, June 27 2014, 06:31 PM CDT

The battle continues on Friday over a program that identifies jail inmates for possible deportation. The City of Austin wants the Travis County Sheriff's Office to stop participating in the federal program. As of Friday afternoon, it looks like that is not going to happen. 

"You've got aggravated sexual assault of a child, murder," said Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton. "Exposure, sexual contact." 

The sheriff is reading from a list of 236 people in jail on Friday who face possible deportation. 

"The story hasn't been getting out on the type of people that have detainers on them," said Sheriff Hamilton. 

The sheriff says 70 percent are charged with felonies. The list shows one man brought in on a traffic offense that also faces a charge of indecency with a child. 

"That's what everybody talks about, the traffic offense. They don't talk about the others charges that go along with it," said Sheriff Hamilton. 

On Thursday night the Austin City Council went on record opposing the Secure Communities Program run by Immigration and Custom Enforcement or ICE. If it indicates a person is unlawfully in the U.S. detainers are issued to hold them an extra 48 hours to verify immigration status. 

Protesters say the ICE program rips apart families and erodes trust in law enforcement. They want Sheriff Hamilton to stop honoring the federal detainers. But Friday afternoon he said unless the ICE program is declared unconstitutional he won't change his policy. 

"They don't want me to have any relationship with ICE and that's not happening," said Sheriff Hamilton.

By Bettie Cross

Battle Builds Over ICE Program To Deport Jail Inmates

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