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Latino Daily News

Tuesday February 1, 2011

Austin Sheriff Cannot Enforce Immigration Laws

Austin Sheriff Cannot Enforce Immigration Laws

Photo: Hormel, which produces Spam, is known to hire undocumented Immigrants

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Austin Sheriff Terese Amazi says that her department has no authority to enforce immigration laws.

“We cannot enforce immigration laws,” said Amazi, adding, “We can enforce forgery…and violation of state law, but there is no state law that allows us to enforce immigration status. Period.”

According to Amazi, she has no jurisdiction to search companies such as Hormel Foods Corp., or Quality Pork Processors, Inc. where it is common knowledge that undocumented workers are working.  Yet when Amazi and her deputies go to those who do have the right to conduct such searches they receive no support. 

“We’ve sat down with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and they’ve said, ‘we won’t do a raid.  Period,’” said Amazi.

The Austin Police Department also has no authority to do anything about immigration issues and the Mower County Court system is not allowed to enforce federal immigration laws, which means that the County’s judges cannot deport anyone, no matter the circumstances.