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Travis Sheriff Will Consider Wider Range of Crimes in Immigration Detainers

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez
Sally Hernandez is sworn into office as Travis County sheriff on Jan. 4.

Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez plans to evaluate a wider range of alleged crimes in determining whether to hand over jail inmates to federal immigration authorities. 

Hernandez changed the policy at the Travis County Jail earlier this month, saying deputies would honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests to detain people for possible immigration violations only if an inmate was booked on capital murder, murder, aggravated sexual assault or human trafficking charges.

Sheriff’s office spokesperson Kristen Dark said the sheriff agreed to expand that list after meeting with the Travis County District Attorney's Office today.

"I think you’ll definitely see crimes against children, crimes against the elderly – things like that will definitely be in consideration," she said.

Dark said the move will likely result in more immigration detention requests being honored.

Sheriff Hernandez was criticized earlier this week when an undocumented man was nearly set free on bail despite being charged with sexually assaulting a child. He remains in the Travis County jail, and the immigration detainer is being honored.

Matt Largey is the Projects Editor at KUT. That means doing a little bit of everything: editing reporters, producing podcasts, reporting, training, producing live events and always being on the lookout for things that make his ears perk up. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @mattlargey.
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