Skip to comments.Database changed to include deported illegal immigrants
Posted on 10/26/2006 5:53:44 PM PDT by Dubya
Database changed to include deported illegal immigrants By MICHAEL GRACZYK Associated Press
HOUSTON More than 2,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders, whose names were absent from a public statewide database because they were deported, have been restored to the Texas Department of Public Safety public Internet site after a Houston police officer's slaying a month ago. ADVERTISEMENT
Andy Kahan, director of the crime victim's office for Houston Mayor Bill White, said today he asked the Texas DPS to review its policy to not include deported offenders in the public database after an illegal immigrant, Juan Leonardo Quintero, was arrested Sept. 26 in the shooting death of Officer Rodney Johnson.
Quintero, 32, now jailed in Johnson's killing, in 1998 was charged with indecency with a child and the next year was given deferred adjudication, a form of probation, in the case. Kahan said when he ran Quintero's name through the DPS public online site, there was no record of him.
"First I thought he was on probation and didn't register and there should be a warrant out for his arrest," Kahan said. "I find out he actually did register and was deported. I was told by DPS officials they remove all sex offenders who are deported from the public database.
"My point was: What's the harm with just listing them as deported? I was stunned."
Kahan wrote Col. Thomas A. Davis, the director of the agency, arguing "there is no downside" in allowing the public to access deported sex offenders' public records.
"The public is our best set of 'eyes' and could possibly alert federal and or local authorities if they spot an offender who has re-entered the country," Kahan wrote.
Davis agreed, responding this week with a note to Kahan that the policy had been changed.
"I give them credit," Kahan said. "At least they obviously saw it should be changed and actually made the change."
The decision puts 2,084 names of deported offenders back on the list that's accessible to the public, DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange said.
The names had been kept off the public list because the deported offenders no longer were considered Texas residents and no longer had an obligation to register in the state, she said.
"Evidently, he came back and obviously didn't register," she said of Quintero.
Another database that law-enforcement officers and agencies can access continued to show the names of the deported offenders, although the names had been purged from the public list.
Convicted sex offenders in Texas have been required since 1991 to register. Refinements to the law in the past decade obligate most of those convicted since 1970 to submit their names, addresses and other personal information to their local law-enforcement agency at least once a year.
The material is published on the Internet site maintained by the Texas DPS and now includes some 46,000 names, triple the number when it first went online in 1999.
"We always ask our citizens to be our eyes and ears out there," Kahan said. "They need to know what they're looking for."
On the Web
Texas sex offender database:
A long time ago, someone posted a link on FR to a site where you could type in your ZIP code and see how many sex offenders were living in your 'hood. Freepers were posting and saying, "Oh, this is terrible...there are six sex offenders living in my little town; I had no idea." So I keyed in my ZIP code and the results made me want to cry. Page after page after page after page of sex offenders...too many to go through...99% of whom had Hispanic surnames. How many were illegal or the offspring of illegals? How much does America have to endure? What will be the tipping point?
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