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