Brazos County Jail has 40 Undocumented immigrants on immigration hold

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) – In the first two weeks of 2019, two people have been arrested in Brazos County and put on immigration hold with ICE, but the Sheriff says they’re not all just coming from Mexico.

Right now, there are 667 inmates booked in the Brazos County jail. Sheriff Chris Kirk says 40 of them are being held for immigration.

“Throughout the course of the year, we will have between 40, 45 inmates in our custody that are under detainer by ICE,” said Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk.

Every inmate is processed and booked the same way, but if their legal status is flagged, Sheriff Kirk says that inmate is immediately placed in a detainer until they go through the legal process here and serve their time.

“About two-third of the ones who are in jail currently are on felonies,” Sheriff Kirk said.

In just the last week, Sheng Xuan was charged with burglary of a motor vehicle after a woman found him allegedly rummaging through her car. Xuan claimed to not speak English, only Mandarin.

Four days later, Angel Gonzales was charged with assaulting a public servant and evading arrest after police say he hit two cops and ran away before being arrested.

“When a person is booked into our jail and we believe them to be foreign-born or may not be legally here, then we inquire with ICE as to their legal status,” Sheriff Kirk said.

The sheriff says ICE visits the Brazos County jail twice a week, each time picking up inmates who have already served their time here.

“We worry about what cross that border. Whether it’s smuggling of contraband, smuggling illegal drugs, exploitation and smuggling of people,” Sheriff Kirk said.

Sheriff Kirk says illegal immigration has been an issue all of his career in Brazos County, and he believes there is a legitimate criminal justice concern in knowing the legal citizenship of a person booked in the jail.

By Erika Fernandez  for KBTX-TV

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