On Saturday, the outgoing Sheriff of Travis County, in Texas, warned that his likely successor’s promise to no longer cooperate with federal immigration authorities in the position was a ‘dangerous’ move. The current Sheriff, Greg Hamilton, expressed serious reservations about the campaign promises from fellow Democrat Senator, Hernandez in an interview onstage at the Texas Tribune Festival. Hernandez is expected to be the county’s new Sheriff, as of November.
Hamilton, who is not running for re-election, has been criticized during his tenure as Sheriff for his cooperation with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for keeping undocumented immigrants imprisoned until they could be taken into custody by the agency. Hamilton told Tribune reporter, Jay Root, that he did what he believed was right to protect the community.
In an interview with the Tribune last month, Hernandez said that she did not think that deporting immigrants was a solution to the criminal justice process. If Hernandez follows through on her views with her expected win over the Republican candidate, Joe Martinez, the policy would see the creation of the first so-called ‘sanctuary city’ in the state of Texas.
ICE visits the Travis County jail twice a day, but Hamilton says that inquiries about immigration status are left to ICE agents rather than to police officers. He added that the agency has an important job to do and fears Hernandez’s stance might be a ‘dangerous move’ for the future.