The sanctuary cities bill, which would have banned local municipalities from “creating ‘sanctuaries’ for illegal immigrants by prohibiting law enforcement officers from inquiring into the immigration status of individuals they had detained”, failed to pass in the Texas Senate on Wednesday, which means it is very unlikely that it will pass this session! We will remain vigilant to see if Governor Perry tries to use emergency legislation to try to get it passed, but we will call this a victory for now!
Life would been extremely difficult for Hispanic Texans if this bill had passed! The immigration issue is already complex enough without more legislation added onto it.
Here are some articles about it:
Houston Chronicle article
Texas Tribune article
Dallas Morning News article
One of our fantastic lawyers had this to say after meeting with a client last night!
I just visited a client in Bell County, Texas (Belton) who had been arrested for a DWI. When the officer pulled him over all he asked was for his license and asked him if he had been drinking. My client handed him his valid Mexican Driver’s License (which is valid in Texas if you are here visiting for less than 90 days) and admitted to having 2 beers. The officer asked him to get out of his car, and then promptly arrested him. No follow up questions, no HGN test, no field sobriety test, no portable breath test, just straight to handcuffs and the back of the patrol car. The client asked the officer why he was being arrested, and was ignored and never told. Now by any objective measurement or grading, that is a horrible DWI investigation, and more than likely an illegal arrest. I am really interested to see the Probable Cause affidavit to see what reasons the officer had for making the arrest. Unfortunately, having been a Criminal defense attorney for over 10 years in Central Texas and having defended clients in Bell County before, I think the fact my client had a Mexican Driver’s license and was Hispanic (even though he speaks fluent English and grew up here) played a large part in how he was treated.
What do you think ?
Anyone have a similar bad experience in Belton or Bell County with law enforcement there ?
Anyone ever been arrested or bothered by police or Sheriff’s in Bell County or Belton and you think the reason they treated you the way they did was on account of your race or ethnicity?
The criminal defense attorneys at Peek & Toland want to know!
This office celebrated a great victory today.
When Mr. Estrada called us to ask for help, we didn’t realize that a simple exchange of information would be able to help him so much.
Mr. Estrada had been told by a Sheriff’s Deputy that they could not do anything about his situation, but that was not the case. And, although our firm would not benefit financially from helping this family, our caring associates took the time to advise them.
The Estrada family saved thousands of dollars, the associates at Peek & Toland prevented a family member from getting deported from the U.S. The value of which could be measured in tens of thousands not to mention the emotional and psychological toll that would place on a family.
Now, we aren’t trying to brag, but we are trying to shamelessly promote the value of information. It is so important that the community be aware of the options they have when faced with difficult situations.
At Peek & Toland, we are celebrating this victory for the Hispanic community that we serve.
J. Moreno- G. and R. Moreno-G. 5/3/11 Hill County
Two of our clients who were on the way to buy a car in Dallas were illegally stopped and illegally detained in Hill County earlier this year. They had brought along the cash to buy the car, and when they were stopped due to profiling, they were arrested without cause. The case was never even filed with the clerk, nor did the D.A. ever have copies of the arrest or a file in their office, yet these men remained detained for over a month. P&T filed a Motion for Examining Trial and 2 days later the case was dropped and client released and returned their cash and truck! Sometimes the system makes mistakes, but its great to see that they can be fixed!
Check out the live stream of the President’s speech at 3:30pm ET! http://ow.ly/4Rsz6
Last week our Criminal Defense team helped a client receive a “Not Guilty on All Counts” verdict! Great victory for P&T!
P. Bautista-M. – 5/2/11
Client had been arrested on a misdemeanor Fail to ID. The bond was set really low at $750 so we advised the wife in order to have him moved to Immigration Custody faster where we then could fight for a bond for him, to go ahead and pay his $750 criminal bond. We kept an eye on it (as we always do in these cases, because you never know when the jail or Immigration will make a mistake) and when 48 hours had passed (not including Saturday or Sunday or Holidays) and Immigration had not picked him up from jail, we knew we had an argument under the Federal Regulations that he must be released.
Under Title 8 Section 287.7(d) it says that when ICE (Immigration) asks to issue a detainer for an Alien no otherwise detained by a criminal justice agency, such agency shall maintain custody of the alien for a period not to exceed 48 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays in order to permit assumption of custody by the Department.
So at the moment the 48 hours passed, we called the Jail and demanded his release. They realized their error but told us he was on the list to be transferred tomorrow morning. We told them that was a violation of Federal law and they needed to follow the law. They ended up agreeing with us and our client was released, thus avoiding Deportation proceedings. Great job by the Peek & Toland staff to vigilantly watch the jail and hold the government to following the law!