Report Shows Texas Is Spending Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Detaining Non-Violent Immigrants

| by Dominic Kelly

New reports show that Texas jails spent more than $156 million detaining non-violent undocumented immigrants in the past couple of years. The illegal immigrants are kept in jails while federal immigration services are processing deportation procedures.

Under the controversial Secure Communities initiative, local authorities are asked to hold illegal immigrants that are arrested for small, non-violent crimes for up to 48 hours after they should be released so that immigration services can process their deportation. Opposing Views has reported on the growing opposition to Secure Communities, noting that many states believe too much money is spent holding undocumented immigrants in jails for federal authorities.

Another recent Opposing Views report shows that California is at the forefront of a national effort to put an end to Secure Communities. Governor Jerry Brown, just this month, signed the Trust Act into law. This legislation puts an end to Secure Communities in California, and it seems that other states are already starting to catch on.

In 2008, Texas enacted Secure Communities, and now reports show that just in the last two years, $156 million have been spent to detain the non-violent immigrants.

The original intent of Secure Communities was to catch dangerous immigrants who have committed violent crimes, but reports now show that 40 percent of undocumented immigrants who were caught and detained were charged with small crimes like traffic violations.