By Harvey Rice, Houston Chronicle
GALVESTON – Galveston County commissioners have voted to negotiate
with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency on closer
cooperation in screening inmates who are in the country illegally.
Commissioners on Tuesday voted 4-1, Commissioner Stephen Holmes
opposed, to enter negotiations to eventually allow ICE to install a
computer system at the Galveston County Jail that would allow deputies
to more quickly identify inmates who are in the U.S. illegally.
Sheriff Henry Trochesset told commissioners that ICE would pay
for the computer system and the training of deputies who will work with
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Holmes raised concerns about unanticipated expenses and civil rights lawsuits.
Trochesset said that ICE was approaching nearly every county in Texas
in an attempt to enlist their cooperation in the the program.
The program would only apply to the inmates after their arrest, Trochesset said.
"Only once they are arrested and in custody does this program move forward," he said.