In Texas, the local justice system in Travis County — home to Austin — is mostly known for politically motivated prosecutions by its very liberal elected prosecutors. That’s why Travis is where, for example, Gov. Rick Perry faced criminal charges for threatening to veto a bill (no, really). It’s also where Tom DeLay was charged with the campaign finance violations of which he was ultimately acquitted.
The Trump administration would like to put Travis on the map for another reason: As the number one sanctuary county in America, judging by an early list of cases in which local police departments refused to cooperate with immigration detainers issued by the Obama or Trump administrations to hold charged or convicted criminals for deportation.
The Trump administration released a list of 206 cases in which local authorities declined to cooperate with immigration authorities during one week — between January 28 and February 3 of this year. Travis County shows up in a surprisingly large 142 of them – 128 cases involving inmates of the Travis County Jail, and 14 more in the Travis County State Jail. (The report erroneously describes Travis as home to San Antonio on page 23). Of these, 51 had already been convicted, with the remainder being simply charged with crimes. All but 20 of these 142 Travis detainers were declined on the same day — February 1 — even though 122 of them date back to the Obama era.