The tug-of-war over illegal immigrants has escalated to a new level in Texas.
Texas Governor Greg Abbot has kept his promise to yank state funding away from Travis County, since newly-elected Democratic Sheriff Sally Hernandez announced that her county would now become a sanctuary for illegal immigrants, effective Feb. 1.
Hernandez had campaigned on the promise of ending cooperation with immigration authorities at the local county jail. After winning the election as the new sheriff in November, she enacted a new policy that agreed to detain illegal alien prisoners for immigration officials only in cases of murder, sexual assault, or human smuggling.
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That decision has now cost her county $1.5 million in funding.
Gov. Abbot wrote a letter to Hernandez on Jan. 23 informing her that her policy was putting the lives of Texans at stake and that unless she reversed her “sanctuary county” status, he would withhold state funding from the county.
Hernandez wouldn’t budge, so Gov. Abbot has made good on his promise, according to the Austin American-Statesman, reported Wednesday:
“This morning, the governor’s office is canceling all currently active Travis County criminal justice grants,” Abbott spokesman John Wittman said.
So far, the state has paid only about $300,000 of $1.8 million to the county, so the loss will total about $1.5 million.
Some of the projects to suffer from the loss of funding include a family violence education program and a special court for veterans.
However, Gov. Abbott has remained firm. In his letter to Hernandez, he stated, “Texas must enact tough penalties that punish those who would put themselves above the law, and even above the community they purportedly serve.”
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