As he seeks a third term as Travis County sheriff, Greg Hamilton would prefer the race be about issues like putting more deputies on the streets and ways to improve mental health resources for people booked into the county jail. But after criticism from Hamilton’s opponent in the Democratic primary, John Sisson, the focus has shifted almost entirely to one issue: immigration. More specifically, how the sheriff’s office deals with requests from the federal government to hold suspects with questionable immigration statuses for possible deportation. Sisson has emerged as a critic of the way the Travis County Jail handles Se Communities, a program that helps the federal government identify potential deportation targets by comparing fingerprints against immigration databases after they are booked. At the center of the dispute over Se Communities are two interpretations of the federal law behind it. Hamilton points to the part of the law that says if U.S. Immigration and Customs.
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