SAN ANTONIO (Texas News Radio) — Austin police will be reviewing cases to see who in its department has been cooperating with federal immigration officials.
The Austin American-Statesman reported the city is reviewing every case where the department provided information to the immigration authorities.
A memo showed that one arrestee or detainee had been asked about their immigration status, but information — like booking photos and police reports — from more than 500 cases had been shared with federal officials. The memo is the result of a city council directive requiring the police department to report the cases where officers asked about immigration status and the requests the department is receives from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for assistance.
Austin police chief Brian Manley said despite the memo, all members of the immigrant community should continue to come forward if they are ever victimized.
Members of the Austin city council are furious.
“This report clearly shows why immigrants in our community say they are often scared of interacting with the police department or with government in general,” Austin councilman Greg Casar said in a Facebook post. “We fought back against the hateful SB4 as it made its way to the Governor’s desk, and continued that fight as it made its way through the courts. But we didn’t stop there. Austin then passed a ‘Freedom City’ policy and continued standing by our immigrant neighbors.”
Another report from Austin police is expected June 1.