BRACKETTVILLE, Texas—Texas state troopers have started delivering van-loads of illegal aliens to the Kinney County Sheriff’s Office to be charged with criminal trespass.
The parking lot and an old steel picnic table under a tree outside the sheriff’s office have become a proxy booking center as the building is more suited for the crimes of a quiet, rural county of 3,600 residents.
But last week, the area was bustling as troopers brought in and processed 17 illegal aliens on Aug. 3, another 17 on Aug. 6, and 13 more overnight on Aug. 8. All were males, and all appeared before the Kinney County justice of the peace for criminal trespass after being arrested on local ranches.
On June 1, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration, and on June 10, he directed state troopers to start arresting illegal aliens on charges including trespass, criminal mischief, and evading on foot. But the jails were full, and it took almost two months to make space and for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to work out the process.
It’s somewhat complicated for Kinney County as it only has 14 jail spaces, which are perpetually full. So the aliens are booked and appear before a judge in Kinney County, then taken to a tent facility in neighboring Val Verde County. From Val Verde, troopers transport them 100 miles away to the Briscoe Unit in Dilley, Texas, which has been repurposed to detain almost 1,000 illegal aliens who are waiting for their court cases and serving out their sentences.
Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe said he wants to stick illegal immigrants with any charges he can so that it might deter them from coming to his county, but he’s had to wait until the state is ready to help provide the infrastructure to do it.
“We’re going to try to hold these people accountable,” Coe said. He hopes the convictions might be a roadblock for illegal aliens if they ever try to file for some type of assistance or become U.S. citizens.