Houston Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has announced that he and his deputies will no longer attempt to identify immigration status of inmates or hold them for ICE’s deportation orders.
This action is in defiance of President Trump, whose administration struck a deal with Texas’ largest city to help promote Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operations. Gonzalez’s new action involves having deputies trained under ICE focus on different endeavors.
Gonzalez’s actions are also in stark contrast to his home state’s Republican governor, Gregg Abbott. A fierce Trump supporter, Abbott has been advocating crackdowns on local governments who refuse to enforce implemented immigration policies.
While many are pointing fingers, claiming the sheriff’s Democratic ideology is impeding his law enforcement capabilities, Gonzalez retorts to critics that his decision was voluntary and based on financial reasons and constraints.
Gonzalez wrote a formal statement to ICE explaining his desire to terminate the partnership:
“Ending this voluntary agreement will free up at least $675,000 in the [sheriff’s office] budget, allowing our department to more effectively direct resources to address local public safety issues. We’ll still be cooperating with local, state and federal authorities as we always have, we just won’t have our manpower resources inside the jail doing that.”
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