Here is the response of Andy Segovia, San Antonio City Attorney, to the Homeland Security report:
“The report, even if taken at face value, continues to demonstrate SAPD’s compliance with SB4. HSI was contacted, present at the scene and present at SAPD headquarters while the individuals from the truck were being interviewed. The HSI agent, by his own account, was provided unfettered access into police headquarters and at no time did he exercise his authority to detain the individuals. SAPD had no authority to hold the individuals once the interviews were completed. To the extent there were misunderstandings or communication gaps during the incident, which this report suggests, SAPD and HSI subsequently met to strengthen communication protocols. SAPD continues to cooperate and work effectively with Homeland Security.” –City Attorney Andy Segovia
An internal report from the Department of Homeland Security on the December 23 incident where San Antonio Police Chief William McManus allegedly ordered the release of 12 illegal immigrants who were found in the back of an 18 wheeler essentially confirms McManus' account, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The report was released following an Open Records Law request by 1200 WOAI news.
The four page report, which includes multiple redactions, describes the incident on December 23 on I-35 near Splashtown from the point of view of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials for the first time.It states that the SAPD discovered 12 illegal immigrants, and notified Homeland Security and ICE, and special agents arrived on the scene.
"Immediately after receiving the aforementioned details SA (HSI Special Agent)called the number given to him by ERO and was able to contact SAPD Officer (NAME REDACTED, AS ARE ALL NAMES) on scene. was given a brief telephonically by SAPD Officer (REDACTED) as to the latest details. (REDACTED) called the SA of the incident. SA (REDACTED) also explained to SAPD Officer and that his approximate response time would be approximately 1.5 hours from his residence in Bulverde, Texas," the report states of the early hours of the incident.
The report states that SAPD early on told ICE and HSI that this was their case, and they were going to handle it according to state human trafficking laws, which treat individuals who are trafficked as victims, and not as part of the criminal act.
ICE on at least two instances requested to take custody of the illegal immigrants and transport them to a detention center on Jackson Keller Rd, but SAPD declined.
SAPD also declined an offer by ICE to participate in the questioning of the 12 illegal immigrants, and at one point, SAPD asked an ICE officer to cover up his badge while inside the police station, so as not to 'scare' the illegals.
"SA then walked a short distance with (REDACTED SAPD OFFICER) away from other officers and away from SA, and conveyed that SAPD would take the case under state smuggling statutes," the report says. "SA then told (REDACTED) of his willingness to respond to SAPD headquaters and assist with the investigation, to which (REDACTED) stated 'No.' (REDACTED) then proceeded to explain to SA that he didnt' want SA's appearence to scare people. (REDACTED) states that he did not want SA's HSI badge to be seen at SAPD headquarters by UDAs (UnDocumented Aliens). SA then said he would wear his jacket to cover his HSA badge, so nobody would be scared."
When the immigrants were taken to SAPD headquarters, the HSI agent encountered McManus, whose name is not redacted. When McManus told the HSI agent that he had only one officer who was able to converse with the illegals in Spanish, the HSI offered to conduct the interviews, but the report says the HSI agent was 'ignored.'
The HSI report does not specifically state that it was McManus personally who ordered the 12 illegals to be released, only saying that HSI Special Agent was 'notified by a Sergeant that (REDACTED) himself had ordered the release of all the suspected UDAs.'
The sergeant later showed the Special Agent a text message on his phone from the individual ordering that the illegal immigrants be released."
Upon learning the aforementioned, SA contacted ASAC (Associate Special Agent in Charge, HSI), and briefed him on what he learned. ASAC then directed SA to depart SAPD Headquarters. SA at 3:50 pm, approximately forty (40) minutes later, contacted ASAC to advise him that the suspected UDA'swere in fact released from SAPD custody and did not elaborate on their whereabouts," the report concludes, adding 'The Case is Closed.'
The Texas Attorney General is investigating complaints that McManus' actions violated SB4, the state's new 'Anti Sanctuary City' bill, which mandates cooperation between local and federal officials on immigration matters.
City Manager Sheryl Sculley just last week made a ringing endorsement of McManus, saying the chief violated no 'laws, rules, or policies' in his actions.