Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Sheriff disingenuous to claim no cost for jailing immigrants

County jail overcrowding, meet immigration hysteria.

Even though Harris County Sheriff Tommy Thomas' jail is so overcrowded they must ship 600 inmates at a time to Louisiana to meet staffing requirements, he's proposing that his deputies be trained to use federal "287g" authority to identify and detain illegal immigrants in the county jail until they're picked up by ICE.

Houston Chron writer James Pinkerton tells us that there's "no charge to local law enforcement" to receive the training ("Immigration training for jailers draws praise," Feb. 6).

Well gee, that's nice. But there's a BIG charge to holding extra inmates in the local jail when it's already overcrowded! The county will have to increase staffing to pay for the extra beds, or else lease more private beds out of state. But Thomas apparently is doing this on his own, without going to the commissioners' court who will have to pay for the utterly foreseeable consequences. Not one word about jail overcrowding in the story, but to my mind it should have been the lede.

Pinkerton's article centers on whether the proposal is motivated by Sheriff Thomas re-election bid. I think the debate should center on whether it is unbelievably stupid given Harris County's jail overcrowding woes. OTOH, this must be election driven. Otherwise what in the world is the Sheriff thinking?


Anonymous said...

He's thinking that any scandal is preferable to the Rosenthal complicity scandal.

Are there federal funds from holding people for immigration detainment?

Anonymous said...

It's Thomas, not Thompson.


Anonymous said...

In death, the members of Project Corruption have a name.

His name is Tommy Thomas.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Thanks, guys, fixed the typo. Too many pols have names about one or two letter off from that! best,

Anonymous said...

I was actually making fun of 10:26 for only being concerned about the name, not the myriad of BS associated with the guy.

Unknown said...

Doesn't everybody know this already: money for military interventionism and extraneous weapons systems comes from the weapons fairy while money to jail "those" people comes from the prison fairy. When there is loud applause at GOP political gatherings the line not heard in newscasts goes : clap if you believe in fairies!