REPORT: Federal gov't pays Texas counties to track immigrants

AUSTIN, Texas — A handful of Texas counties have found a way to profit from working with federal immigration officials in tracking and detaining immigrants in the country illegally.

The Austin American-Statesman reports eight counties have joined a federal program that allows sheriff's deputies to become certified immigration officers. Ten counties allow federal immigration agents to stash detained immigrants in their jails. Four counties do both.

At least 16 counties nationwide participate in both programs. Lubbock County recently started having deputies certified as immigration officers under a program named 287(g) for the law that created it. It also collects $65 daily per immigrant it houses after detention by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

With federal pressure on illegal immigration growing, immigrant advocates worry that more counties will act to participate in both programs.

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