Sheriff warns council’s request could put community at risk

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin City Council approved a resolution Thursday asking the Travis County Sheriff to stop detaining people solely for requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. But Sheriff Greg Hamilton say that could put the community as risk.

Hamilton says he cannot go along with the resolution, calling it irresponsible.

“ICE needs an opportunity to vet these individuals that are in our jail to make sure that we don’t have somebody that is dangerous get out and commit a heinous crime,” he said.

Contrary to what some council members claim, Hamilton says not all detainees have been charged with minor crimes. He maintains cooperating with ICE is his only option.

“For me to allow those individuals to to just leave my jail without being vetted by an agency that is in charge of running immigration,” he said, “I think it would be foolish on my part.”

The city council resolution points to the $105 daily cost of detaining individuals as part of the reason they don’t want the sheriff’s office holding people for ICE request.

The resolutions also asks the city manager’s office to explore other options for detaining individuals instead of using sheriffs office employees and the county jail.

The Austin City Council will address the issue again in 90 days.

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