Cities, sher­iffs find flaws in im­mi­gra­tion jail list,

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Paul J. Weber

Sev­eral city of­fi­cials and sher­iffs around the U.S. lashed out Tues­day at a White House re­port aim­ing to shame them over what the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion sees as lax im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies, say­ing it in­cludes wrong or mis­lead­ing in­for­ma­tion about re­cent ar­rests of im­mi­grants or their jail poli­cies.

The push­back was not just from lib­eral lo­cal gov­ern­ments that are at odds with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump over im­mi­gra­tion crack­downs and his promise to de­port “bad dudes” liv­ing in the United States il­le­gally. In Texas, the elected Repub­li­can sher­iff of con­ser­va­tive Wil­liamson County said his jail didn’t refuse four re­cent im­mi­gra­tion de­tainer re­quests as claimed.

The list was prompted by an ex­ec­u­tive or­der signed by Trump in Jan­uary that called on the gov­ern­ment to doc­u­ment which lo­cal ju­ris­dic­tions aren’t co­op­er­at­ing with fed­eral ef­forts to find and de­port im­mi­grants in the coun­try il­le­gally.

The first list was re­leased Mon­day, cit­ing 206 ex­am­ples of im­mi­grants who were said to have been re­leased from cus­tody by lo­cal jails de­spite re­quests from fed­eral agents. The re­quests, of­ten called “de­tain­ers,” have taken on a greater role in the im­mi­gra­tion de­bate un­der Trump, who stren­u­ously op­poses lo­cal poli­cies that grant le­niency to peo­ple in the coun­try il­le­gally.

Many “sanc­tu­ary cities” choose to not honor the re­quests when im­mi­grants com­plete their sen­tences and are re­leased from jail.

City and county of­fi­cials in Ore­gon, Rhode Is­land and Texas ei­ther dis­puted how the re­port char­ac­ter­ized their han­dling of im­mi­grant ar­rests, or chal­lenged some of the cases. Wil­liamson County Sher­iff Robert Chody called the re­port from U.S. im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment “mis­lead­ing.”

The list was pub­lished as some cities and coun­ties are con­cerned about the ad­min­is­tra­tion pulling fed­eral fund­ing over so-called “sanc­tu­ary cities,” some­thing the new pres­i­dent has vowed to do.

“They cast a very broad net in who they in­cluded in this list. We’re all still try­ing to fig­ure out what is ac­com­plished by this list, and also how it’s go­ing to be used,” said Prov­i­dence Mayor Jorge Elorza.

Rhode Is­land gen­er­ally doesn’t honor most ICE de­tainer re­quests, but Elorza said Prov­i­dence ap­peared to have been in­cluded over a 2011 non­bind­ing city res­o­lu­tion that he says wasn’t about de­tain­ers.

An ICE spokes­woman didn’t im­me­di­ately com­ment on the dis­puted re­ports. The agency has al­ready ac­knowl­edged some mis­takes: Hours af­ter the re­port was re­leased Mon­day, ICE cor­rected 14 re­jected de­tain­ers in Texas that were mis­tak­enly listed from the Travis County State Jail. That fa­cil­ity is run by the state prison sys­tem and not Travis County.

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