Bail Reform Allows Criminal Alien to Skip DWI Charge in Harris County

A criminal alien on ICE detainer skips court in Harris County, exposing a recent settlement in a federal lawsuit over bail reform.

The Texan first reported the Honduran national with deportation orders was given a $100 bond, then failed to appear on a drunk driving charge.

“The bond system that we have in place now is a result of the settlement of that unconstitutional practice the courts employed for a great number of years, so that's how we ended up where we are,” says KTRH legal expert Chris Tritico.

“There are ways to tweak the system to try to ensure that people who already have prior convictions or multiple charges, that we cannot increase those bails to protect the public.”

Ira Mehlman at the Federation for American Immigration Reform also points to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez's sanctuary city position.

“There's no reason why the people of Houston need to tolerate people who are A. violating federal immigration law and B. endangering the public by driving drunk, when there is perfect opportunity for local authorities to get that guy out of the country.”

According to The Texan, Sheriff Gonzalez in 2017 announced his department would no longer participate in the voluntary federal 287(g) program, under which deputies are trained to identify suspects with deportation orders.

“With illegal aliens, there is inherent problem that they are big flight risk. That they don't have the greatest ties with the community. They can leave the country and simply disappear,” Mehlman added.

Emilio Duerte-Lone remained on the run at last check.

Photo released by Harris County Constable Mark Herman's office to The Texan.

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