DA moves to protect crime victims, witnesses facing deportation

Margaret Moore (KXAN Photo)
Margaret Moore (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Letters distributed by the Travis County district attorney will give people facing deportation new protections if they are a crime victim or witness.

District Attorney Margaret Moore says they will be issuing the letters in an effort to secure the appearance and cooperation of victims and witnesses in pending cases.

“This office will immediately begin distributing letters to individuals subject to possible deportation based upon their immigration status and who are essential to the prosecution of a felony case,” the statement said.

The letters ask immigration officials to notify the District Attorney’s Office if a witness or victim is taken into custody for possible deportation proceedings.

Moore says her office will follow strict internal protocol to keep a database of letters they’ve issued and maintain security measures to verify the identity of the victim or witness giving the letter to law enforcement.

The DA’s office tells KXAN that Immigration and Customs Enforcement knows about the letters, but the two are not working together in this effort. The District Attorney’s Office hopes ICE will contact their office in the event one of the people in the database is detained, before taking any immigration enforcement action.

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