Travis County Leads Nation in ICE Detention Request Denials

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A newly released report shows a Texas county accounted for most of the nationwide Immigration detention request denials in a single week.

That report from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement says out of 206 denials nationwide in a single week, 142 were in Travis County.

The report looked at national detention requests between Jan. 28 and Feb. 3.

Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez has faced political pressure and criticism from conservatives over her policy not to honor all detention requests from ICE. Her policy calls for honoring the requests in certain serious cases, like when the person in question is charged with felony crimes like murder, rape or human trafficking.

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The ICE report says Travis County denied detention requests in cases where the person was charged with or had a conviction for crimes like burglary, assault, fraud, domestic violence and robbery.

Compared to Travis County's 142 denials, the other two Texas counties mentioned in the report -Bastrop and Williamson - only had a combined seven detention request denials.

Governor Greg Abbott, who has criticized Hernandez's policy in the past, called the findings of the report deeply disturbing and said it highlights the need for a statewide sanctuary city ban in Texas.

"The Travis County Sheriff’s decision to deny ICE detainer requests and release back into our communities criminals charged with heinous crimes – including sexual offenses against children, domestic violence and kidnapping – is dangerous and should be criminal in itself," said Abbott.  

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