37 undocumented immigrants released from Travis Co. Jail with new policy

KXAN Staff - AUSTIN (KXAN) -- Thirty-seven inmates were released from the custody of the Travis County Sheriff's Office after the release of their ICE detainer on Wednesday.

Sheriff Sally Hernandez's new policy, which went into effect on Feb. 1, prohibits deputies and jailers from asking about someone's immigration status and limits how they will work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.

One hundred and ninety-one people with ICE detainers held Tuesday no longer have them, and are eligible to bail out. In response to Sheriff Hernandez's new policy, Gov. Greg Abbott cut $1.5 million in future grants for Travis County. Abbott previously told Fox News that Hernandez would lose her job if she doesn't reverse plans to stop honoring all federal immigration detainers in her jail.

Out of 71 undocumented immigrants who were held in the Travis County Jail in January, by and large the most common charge was driving while intoxicated, with 27 charges. The next common charges were 12 for drug possession and 12 for assault on a family member, KXAN's Phil Prazan reported.

ICE detainers will remain in place for 30 inmates who meet Sheriff Hernandez's new policy, people accused of committing extremely violent crimes like murder and aggravated sexual assault.

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