Thursday, February 05, 2015

Is Adrian Garcia a flip-flopper or something worse?

Stace at Dos Centavos is, as he usually is, nicer than I am...

The President’s change includes a re-vamped deportation program which supposedly deports the worst of the worse; however, that was the intent as written of the original program. So, it is still a program that will be under the microscope, especially at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, whether Garcia is at the helm or not.

Given that there is still an imminent announcement of a Mayoral candidacy, Garcia resigning and leaving the post to a right-wing Republican who more than likely will not agree with the President’s executive action will surely put Garcia in a position to defend the President’s executive action during the Mayoral campaign. Certainly, it will also frame the position of a possible Republican appointed Sheriff for 2016.

 ...but Rob Block at Free Press Houston is much meaner, calling him an 'opportunist'.  I'm excerpting the backstory he wrote on Garcia and the Secure Communities/287 (g) immigration actions, ground I've covered years ago, just so you don't have to click my links.

Adrian Garcia is the first Democrat elected as Harris County Sheriff in a long time, and he replaced someone who was pretty terrible in terms of protecting the human rights of people who end up in the county jail. Still, one reason that Garcia stands out is as a national champion of the Secure Communities Program, and as one of only two law enforcement agencies in the state of Texas to maintain a 287(g) agreement with the Department of Homeland Security. Both of Secure Communities and 287(g) are designed to identify people who are undocumented that end up in the county jail and deport them.


These programs were marketed as focusing on and deporting the worst of the worst — gang-bangers and violent criminals. But only 30% of those deported from Houston were convicted of violent crimes, the remainder being convicted of a mix of non-violent crimes, traffic offenses, or the civil (not criminal) offense of being here without papers.

This fall President Obama announced that he was going to take executive action on immigration, which included an end the Secure Communities Program, which would be replaced by a “New Priority Enforcement Program” which works in a similar way, but should only target those convicted of violent and serious crimes. Adrian Garcia appeared on the NPR Radio program Hear and Now a week after President Obama’s announcement and said that this new program means less people will be deported and that that is a good thing.

While it's great that he sees this program as a good thing, it would have been nice for him to be able to notice this earlier and push for the changes publicly while his office was facilitating the deportations of thousands of residents of Harris County for non-violent crimes.  Adrian Garcia was either being dishonest in championing a program that he knew was deporting people who should not be deported, or he is being dishonest now that he is happy this new program should deport less people. Either way, we should be able to hope for more from someone who is proud of his heritage as a child of immigrants, and has political ambitions for higher office.

See, I'm not the only guy who thinks Adrian Garcia is talking out of both sides of his mouth.  Or having trouble deciding whether he's still a Democrat or has devolved into a Republican.  Whichever happens to be the case, he's going to have real problems with Harris County Democrats -- the Latino caucuses of which he must have in his corner for a presumptive mayoral run -- if he quits the SO (handing that job to a Republican), runs for mayor... and then loses.  Essentially his political career will be over.  As a Democrat, anyway.

These mixed messages he's sending would suggest that he's smart enough to understand all this, and that he's in a real quandary about pulling the trigger on a dash for City Hall.

We'll keep waiting while he makes up his mind.

Update: The TexTrib has more on the feds' efforts to recruit Texans -- which include Garcia and HUD Secretary Julian Castro -- to sell Obama's immigration plan.

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

Dear Dear Leader:

Why was Lupe Valdez not on this conference call as well? She's been in office longer than Garcia, is more reliably Democrat, and is a woman and a lesbian to boot, if you want to tick-mark certain boxes.

No wonder Wendy Davis got blown out: her DC consultants don't even know Texas Dems that well, apparently.