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Immigrant rights supporters in Austin locked themselves arm-in-arm, mind forming a chain in front of the Travis County Jail Monday morning to stop the deportation of illegal immigrants.
The protestors are blocking the exit authorities used to transfer captured illegal immigrants to the Federal Building where they are held for Immigration and Customs Enforcement under the Se Communities program.
Six people have been arrested.
According to data from the Department of Homeland Security, the majority of immigrants deported from Travis County were not convicted of serious crimes.
A 2013 report from the Texas Commission on jail standards said the cost for holding an immigrant in the Travis County jail is $106.05 dollars per day.
Arrests During Protest of Travis County Deportation Program – keyetv.com Austin News, Weather, Traffic KEYE-TV Austin – Top Stories
Updated: Monday, February 3 2014, 01:15 PM CST
Six people are arrested this morning in Downtown Austin, protesting what they call unfair and damaging deportations.
They chained themselves together in front of the Travis County Jail exit where undocumented immigrants are transported for deportation.
They’re protesting Se Communities, or S-Comm as it’s also known, rounds up undocumented immigrants who have committed minor offenses, and deports them. The protesters say this is a violation of human rights, separating them from their families who are here in the U.S.
The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it deports 19 immigrants per week on average.
The Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition says this practice diverts time and financial resources of local police departments, when it says police should be addressing “real dangerous crime.” The organization cites a 2013 report from the Texas Commission on jail standards, that shows it costs $106.05 each day dealing with detained undocumented immigrants under the S-Comm program.
The protesters say larger cities have denounced S-Comm, saying it destroys public trust, and they’re asking Travis County to do the same. Last week Immigrant rights advocates met with Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton to make the request, and he rejected it.
Arrests Made During Protest of Travis County Deportation Program