Trending
MOST READ
SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the San Antonio... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

Food & Drink: Cheesy Jane’s. Multiple locations, cheesyjanes.com. If the name is any indicator, this San Antonio staple doesn’t mess around when it comes to... By Tommie Ethington 10/22/2014
Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Food & Drink: There was a special kind of draw at Alamo Ice House on a recent Tuesday evening. A handful of weeks after opening its... By Jessica Elizarraras 10/22/2014
A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

News: For more than a year now gubernatorial candidates Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott have dominated airwaves and secured way... By Mark Reagan 10/22/2014
‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

Screens: In the Middle Ages, pilgrims walked the 500-mile El Camino de Santiago de Compostela as a pilgrimage to the tomb of Apostle St. James. It was an... By Stephen James Ross 10/22/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Migrant Nation

Perry’s immigration ‘emergency’ speeds Texas toward sea of red ink

One provision of SB9 would allow any citizen to file a complaint against an agency if they believe immigration enforcement is being discouraged or prohibited, opening cities to legal challenges and the prospect of losing state grant money if ruled incompliant, Bernal said. “It’s a prohibition on a prohibition. … What’s interesting is, in some ways, the only way to keep yourself from running afoul of this legislation is to require your officers to ask for immigration status, and then we’re Arizona,” said Bernal, a former attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Throughout the debate over SB9, police chiefs and sheriffs have openly worried the measure could spark an uptick in arrests as immigration enforcement becomes a part of the job description, costing an untold millions of dollars in immigrant detention and officer training each year. When speaking out against a similar sanctuary cities bill earlier this year, Sheriff Ortiz remarked, “We’re afraid we’d see more people coming through the jail, and we deal with overcrowding here as it is.”

In March, according to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, Perry’s office requested a survey of all Texas counties participating in the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, through which county jails are reimbursed by the feds for jailing undocumented immigrants held on local charges, ranging from minor misdemeanors to felonies, and that reimbursement already falls woefully short, according to records released to the Current in an open-records request.

In fiscal year 2009, Bexar County jail officials reported spending nearly $700,000 detaining 550 undocumented immigrants. The federal government reimbursed the county just over $200,000, leaving a nearly half-million-dollar gap, records show. Using the state’s average per-day cost for incarceration, Texas as a whole lost over $55 million housing “criminal aliens and suspected criminal aliens using [U.S. Department of Justice] data,” the survey noted. The cost, the commission said, is likely higher, given that only 106 counties participate in the federal program. •

Staff Writer Michael Barajas’ column Migrant Nation appears monthly in the Current.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus