A Bottom-Up Look At Secure Communities
Jason Cato gained eye-opening access to police enforcing Secure Communities in Austin, Texas.

As an Activist Anthropology student at the University of Texas Cato studies the Travis County Sheriff’s Department. His research includes ride alongs and jail visits, focus groups with officers and immigrants, and individual interviews. He shared some unanticipated findings and moving stories with Deportation Nation.

“The more that law enforcement can understand the concerns of immigrants and the more immigrants can understand law enforcement, then there can be a mutual effort to come up with practical solutions that will benefit both,” Cato said. “But if there is misunderstanding and systematic distrust, then that’s going to create a lot of divisions that are going to make things difficult.”

PART 1: Lessons From Police Ride Alongs & Central Booking


PART 2: How Police Consider the Immigration Status of People They Arrest


PART 3: An Officer Reconsiders Secure Communities After Teen Volunteer Deported