Galveston County, ICE Negotiating to Enforce Immigration Laws

Galveston County commissioners have voted 4-1 this week to negotiate with ICE on screening inmates who may also be illegal aliens.

It would allow ICE to install a computer system at the Galveston County Jail that deputies could use to more quickly identify those here illegally.

“This is only for someone who has already been arrested for a crime,” says county Judge Mark Henry. “The naysayers are out there saying we're going to start raiding work sites, none of that is true.”

Henry believes it will help save taxpayer dollars locally.

“Some of these people don't want to tell us who they are, we can't release them until we have a positive identification on them, so it might actually speed up the process of identifying the accused and getting them out of our jail quicker,” he says.

At least one commissioner raised concerns about possible civil rights lawsuits.

“This is only to better identify those who have been charged with a crime and are currently sitting in our county jail for a crime other than an immigration violation,” says Henry.

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