HOUSTON — The ACLU of Texas and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) filed yesterday open records requests to the Sheriff’s Departments in Fannin and Lamar Counties. The requests seek information regarding the extent of collaboration between local law enforcement and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) in a recent at a manufacturing plant in Sumner, Texas.ICE officials reported that this was the nation’s largest single-site operation in a decade, leading to the arrest of 160 individuals.
Local community members raised concerns to the ACLU of Texas and ILRC that local sheriff deputies engaged in door-knocking in nearby immigrant neighborhoods reportedly checking the immigration status of Latino residents.
“Texans should not live in fear that their local law enforcement authorities will come knocking on their door at any moment at the behest of ICE,” said Edgar Saldivar, senior staff attorney with the ACLU of Texas. “With these records requests, we seek to learn the extent of sheriff’s deputies’ engagement in immigration enforcement in a post-SB4 Texas and hold officials accountable for possible constitutional violations.”
The requests seek records related to the alleged collaboration between the two sheriff’s offices and ICE in the enforcement of any federal or state immigration laws, as well as records concerning the reported door-knocking activities of local law enforcement officers in immigrant communities.
“Even under SB4, Texas sheriff deputies don’t have authority to enforce immigration law,” said Lena Graber, staff attorney for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. “We are very concerned about an environment where local law enforcement agencies are going rogue and threatening people’s rights.”