Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

March 13, 2014

Undocumented immigrants costs jails large amounts

Athens — Changes in the way the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency deals with detainees has altered the number housed in local jails.

ICE is the principal criminal-investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security and one of the three department components charged with the civil enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws. For the last five years, the stated aim of ICE has been to “recognize the value of enforcing removal orders without detaining people,” and develop cost-effective alternatives to its previous detention program.”

The Texas Tribune reports that the Texas Commission on Jail Standards records show county jails in the state spending more than $187 million while housing 155,380 undocumented immigrants between October 2011 and January 2014. The Henderson County Jail housed 189 illegal immigrants during that period for a total of 3,803 days.  The total cost of keeping the detainees in the Henderson County facility was $209,849.54.

Henderson County began the period with 14 illegals in the jail.  The cost for keeping that number of detainees in Oct. 2011 was about $7,900. The county also reported 14 in November of 2012. That dropped to 10 in January 2013, dropped to two by April and none in July, August and September. In January 2014, the county reported six illegal immigrants in the jail at a cost of $4,830.

Henderson County ranked 70th among the state’s 254 counties in the number of illegal immigrants kept during the period. Navarro County was No. 50 and Kaufman County No. 43.

Dallas County ranked 2nd, behind Harris County in housing detainees, with 15,525. While the cost of holding the detainees decreased by 60 percent in Henderson County between 2012 and 2013, Dallas County experienced an increase of 16.76 percent.

In the past, several counties have received funds to help offset the cost of housing illegal immigrants.

In 2009, Henderson County received a Fiscal Year 2009 State Criminal Alien Assistance Program grant in the amount of $53,323. 

The amount was allocated through the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance, and is based on the number of illegal aliens housed in the jail. In 2013, the amount had dropped to 13,452.

The total was based on 29 ICE inmates, serving 1,497 days.

To be eligible to be counted on the grant application, the inmate must have been born outside the U.S. or one of its territories, and had no reported or documented claim to U.S. citizenship, in the applicant’s custody for four or more consecutive days during the reporting period, and convicted of a felony or second misdemeanor for violations of state or local law.

Text Only
Local News
  • 7-25 Sanders_Kendall.jpg Sanders suspended indefinitely

    Two University of Texas football players were arrested and charged Thursday with felony sexual assault after a female student said she was raped in a campus dorm room last month.
    Wide receivers Kendall Sanders, of Athens, and Montrel Meander were arrested and later released on personal recognizance bonds. According to an arrest affidavit, Sanders and Meander texted each other during earlier interviews with police to "get their story straight" and Sanders also faces a charge of improper photography tied to the alleged assault on June 21.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-25 tree down college st. 1.JPG Thunderstorms take their toll on counties

    A line of thunderstorms rolled through Henderson County on Wednesday, snapping tree branches and power lines along the way.
    The winds that accompanied the storm resulted in thousands of people in North Texas without electricity and roads broken by falling trees or debris.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Council considering Burton's severance package

    The Athens City Council, by a 3-to-2 vote, tabled a budget adjustment on Wednesday to fund a severance package for City Administrator Pam Burton who’s stepping down at the end of the year.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Eustace ISD approves tax rates

    The Eustace Independent School District Board of Trustees held its regular monthly meeting Tuesday in the Eustace High School Library.
    Several reports and agenda items were considered by the board, and all were passed or approved. Board Secretary Ashley McKee was absent.
    The board was presented with the superintendent's reports on revenue, expenditures, payroll and taxes.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif TxDOT signs at issue in county

    It turns out Texas counties will not be picking up the cost of Advance County Road signs as the Texas Department of Transportation had stated earlier this year.
    TxDOT informed Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders recently that it has reversed its decision to change its policy regarding maintenance of the signs installed to aid approaching traffic to identify an upcoming county road intersection.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Free meals for schools in Malakoff, Tool

    The Malakoff Independent School District has been approved to provide free breakfast and lunch for Malakoff Elementary, Tool Elementary and Malakoff Middle School.
    Those schools did meet or exceed the 40-percent requirement to participate in the program.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • • DSC_0162.JPG Ramps for handicapped

    Encino Landscaping is doing a necessary job for the Texas Department of Transportation Tyler District. All four corners of the block upon which the Henderson County Courthouse rests are being converted to better serve handicapped pedestrians.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Appearance and operation of Splash Pad upgraded

    The Splash Pad at Athens Kiwanis Park has been closed this week, as work is being done that will upgrade the appearance of the surroundings and operation of the facility.
    The pad is now well into its first full summer of operation, and has proven to be a popular spot for youngsters in the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif GBC official asked to resign

    Gun Barrel City resident Carroll Strickland asked Councilman Marty Goss “to do the right thing and resign.”
    Strickland spoke to the GBC council during the citizen's comment portion of the Tuesday evening’s council meeting. Strickland  accused Goss of trying to take over the GBC Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
    In a prepared statement, Strickland said,  “Marty is doing harm to the city's reputation. I am asking the mayor and the city council to do something about the situation.”

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Nutt says being part of task force has really paid off

    Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt reports that being a part of the Drug Enforcement Task Force in Tyler has paid off in a big way with the arrest of two major drug distributors.
    On May 13, following an investigation initiated in January by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office investigators, Uleyses Roberts, 45, and Dijon Howard, 25, were arrested by a task force of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The men were charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo