Tag Archives: Adrian Garcia

Is He Running? ¿O que?

Schleifer at the Chron reports that Sheriff Adrian Garcia’s announcement for Mayor may be imminent. Or at least that signals are being sent. Or that his biggest supporters and check-writers think he is. In other words, we’re still waiting.

adrianI think I laid out my concerns about Democrat Garcia resigning as Sheriff to run in a multi-candidate race for Houston Mayor in our podcast. At the same time, I admit that such a candidacy would be historic because he’d be far more progressive than most other Latinos who have run for Mayor in recent history. I think I’ve made my disagreements with Garcia regarding 287g/SCOMM pretty clear on the blog over the years. Still, I respect and like the guy because he’s been the big local winner.

A quick look at some of our hardest working Dems’ comments on Facebook (I won’t name names) and comments from a few I’ve spoken with, shows some real concern that, as Schleifer reports, we could end up with Sheriff Ron Hickman or Sheriff Allan Fletcher from the Republican side of things. Among other concerns are a complete turnaround in progress made at the County Jail on mental health, overall management, immigrant family visitations, and especially progress made on GLBT issues. But as the article states, he’ll seek out Republican support and money, so, how Garcia splits the difference and what issues he runs on for a “nonpartisan” race are yet to be seen, obviously. Perhaps he’d be the next person who can find the winning coalition needed to win without offending entire constituencies.

For voters who aren’t fans of perennial or multi-run City candidates, Garcia does offer himself up for the first time for this position, so, there’s always that. The other first-timers sit on the conservative side of things for the most part and with little crossover appeal.

Anyway, there will be a lot more to blog and chat about if Garcia does make the announcement. It’s obvious he can raise the money, hire the needed staff, and run a professional, disciplined campaign. So, for now, we still wait. Of course, some of us want to listen and ask more questions of some of the candidates before deciding which button to click in November (and December).

One thing’s for sure. Schleifer mentioned a possible point of attack against Garcia:  His lack of a college degree. Yeah, because, apparently, a police academy education is equal to basket-weaving? All I can say is that such an attack will incense Houstonians; no, it would be just plain dumb. It surely would piss me off. But we can go into that if it becomes a thing.

Kuff has some point-by-point thoughts that are a must-read. Also, Brains and Eggs, Texpatriate, and Texas Leftist have their own takes.

Immigration Policy Center: 287(g) Flawed and Obsolete

The Immigration Policy Center released a report on the dreaded 287(g) program  which allows local law enforcement to act like federal immigration agents. They basically call it what DosCentavos has been calling it since its inception:  Flawed. And today, IPC stated that the practices used in running the program are obsolete. This should send a message to law enforcement agencies, such as Harris County Sheriff’s Department.

Here are a few highlights of the report:

287(g) Agreements Have Resulted in Widespread Racial Profiling

A report by Justice Strategies found that 87% of the jurisdictions with 287(g) agreements had a rate of Latino population growth higher than the national average.

287(g) Agreements Drain Local Coffers

Aside from training deputized officers on the enforcement of federal immigration law, ICE does not pay for any costs associated with implementation of the program, including overtime and financial liability arising from civil rights violations.

287(g) Partnerships Net Few Violent Criminals

[When DosCentavos debated HCSO’s communications guy back in 2010 on 287(g) at a Young Dems meeting, he wasn’t able to give any real figures as to detentions of violent criminals; instead, they have boasted big numbers on all detentions. An ICE report and other reports stated that the majority of immigrants detained using 287(g) were low-grade offenders whose crimes usually do not net a deportation. This report mentions a UNC report which gives a similar outcome in North Carolina.]

The report from the University of North Carolina found that 287(g) agreements in the state were primarily used to target offenders who posed no threat to public safety or individuals with no criminal record. For example, 33% of individuals detained through the 287(g) program were charged with traffic violations, a figure that rose to 41% in Alamance County and 57% in Gaston County.

287(g) Agreements Threaten Community Safety and Hinder Community Policing

  • The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the nation’s premier law enforcement association, has stated that “local police agencies depend on the cooperation of immigrants, legal and illegal, in solving all sorts of crimes and in the maintenance of public order. Without assurances that they will not be subject to an immigration investigation and possible deportation, many immigrants with critical information would not come forward, even when heinous crimes are committed against them or their families.”
  • The Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), a group of police chiefs from the 64 largest police departments in the United States and Canada, similarly has written: “without assurances that contact with the police would not result in purely civil immigration enforcement action, the hard won trust, communication and cooperation from the immigrant community would disappear.”

287(g) Agreements Lack Sufficient Federal Oversight

  • Although federal law mandates that 287(g) officers be subject to the direction and supervision of federal officials, numerous investigations have found federal oversight to be insufficient and lax. A March 2010 report by the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that ICE and its local law enforcement partners had not complied with the terms of their 287(g) agreements; that the standards by which deputized officers are evaluated contradicted the stated objectives of the 287(g) program; that the program was poorly supervised by ICE; and that additional oversight was necessary.
  • A January 2009 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that ICE has failed to articulate the 287(g) program’s objectives or how local partners are to use their 287(g) authority. While ICE officials have stated that the purpose of the program is to address serious crime, such as narcotics smuggling, ICE has never documented this objective or provided statistics to validate it. As a result, local police have used their 287(g) authority to detain immigrants for traffic violations and other minor crimes.

287(g) Agreements are Obsolete

  • With the Secure Communities program in effect in virtually all U.S. jurisdictions, many have argued that 287(g) agreements no longer serve any plausible law enforcement benefit. Under the Secure Communities program, fingerprints of all state and local arrestees are routed to ICE officials, who can themselves determine whether to initiate removal proceedings. While Secure Communities also jeopardizes community policing and public safety, and fails to solve the problem of racial profiling by state and local police, all immigration enforcement decisions under Secure Communities are made by federal authorities.
  • In its budget justification for fiscal 2013, DHS sought $17 million less in funding for the 287(g) program, and said that in light of the expansion of Secure Communities, “it will no longer be necessary to maintain the more costly and less effective 287(g) program.”

The local sheriff has testified in favor of re-funding 287(g), but the bottom line is that another bad program (Secure Communities) has the same goals. Still flawed, though, it doesn’t make sense to fund two flawed programs. At the very least, 287(g) needs to be ended, especially as moves are made toward a sensible immigration policy in Washington.