Immigration in Bastrop is a concern amid clampdowns across Texas by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, a recent town hall meeting heard.
The town hall in February heard concerns that the roundups that are targeting undocumented immigrants with criminal records could impact Bastrop as a community. The fears of residents at a town hall meeting earlier this year were reported in The Statesman.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USCIS) officers started rounding up unauthorized immigrants in Austin in February. The Washington Post noted how hundreds of undocumented immigrants were picked up in half a dozen states. The raids followed President Trump’s executive order of Jan. 25 to crack down on about 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States.
A federal judge in Texas later appeared to note the raids were aimed at so-called “sanctuary cities,” that provide more protections for undocumented immigrants reported CNN.
At the town hall meeting, Bastrop County Precinct 1 Commissioner Mel Hamner said he understood the nervousness in the Hispanic community. He warned the raid threatened to undermine the fabric of the community. He said.
“It’s their friends and neighbors, family members. The Hispanic community has the right to be nervous about all this because things that have kind of been in place for decades could be unraveled by all that.”
Many immigrant families have lived in the Lake Bastrop Acres neighborhood for decades. At the meeting, LBA residents voiced concerns that immigrants who are part of their community will be rounded up. A similar concern was heard from residents in the Stony Point neighborhood in Del Valle which also has a sizeable Hispanic population.
Immigration in Bastrop and Crime Takes Center Stage
Crime in Bastrop was also highlighted as a concern during the town hall.
Hamner said he saw criminal activity at first-hand when he lived on Matthews Cove at the end of Pershing Boulevard. Residents said they had seen blatant drug dealing and felt unsafe in their homes.
The town hall meeting in February was the first to be held for residents in the Lake Bastrop Acres and Camp Swift neighborhoods to the north of Bastrop.
The Statesman reported 33 violent crimes occurred in the Camp Swift and LBA neighborhoods in the six months until February, according to crimereports.com. The site garners report from the Bastrop County sheriff’s office. The crimes listed sexual assault, assault, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Hamner said he has requested the additional officers posted in the neighborhood. The meeting heard 10 homicides occurred on the Bastrop-Travis County in just four months.
If you have a concern about immigration in Bastrop, round-ups by ICE agents or crime, please call our experienced Bastrop immigration and defense attorneys for a consultation at (512) 474-4445.