For Immediate Release
July 3, 2015
Contact: SG Sarmiento,

Texas Sheriff’s Statement Raises Alarms About New Deportation Program

“All they did was change the name” says Travis County Sheriff

Austin, Texas–According to Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton, the new Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), which replaced the failed Se Communities deportation program, is “pretty close” to the same thing.

In a video released of the sheriff’s testimony before the Travis County Commissioners Court earlier this year, the sheriff explains that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has merely changed the title of the program. “All they did was change the name,” said Sheriff Hamilton of the program that seeks to utilize local police in deportation efforts.

On November 20, 2014, DHS announced that it would terminate the Se Communities deportation program in response to broad opposition and constitutional concerns. Over 250 localities across the US rejected the voluntary aspects of ICE entanglement with local police and sheriffs.

In the last month, ICE aggressively began to roll-out its replacement, PEP, trying to quell fears that the program is merely a re-branding of the original. Immigrant rights groups in east Texas have reiterated their opposition to the conflation of local police and sheriffs agencies with federal immigration enforcement and have called for transparency about the details of the new deportation program. 


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