The Texas Governor has promised to shut down the funding of Austin, Texas’s newest sheriff after she decided not to cooperate fully with federal immigration officials.
Abbott, a Republican, has threatened to withhold nearly $1.8 million in state law-enforcement grants following Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s decision go against Texas state law and no longer honor all jail “detainers” sought by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
A detainer is a request to state and local jails to notify federal agents when they are about to release an undocumented immigrant from custody.
According to Sheriff Hernandez, beginning February 1, her sheriff’s office has decided it would only honor the detainers for certain major offenses. An illegal must be booked in Travis County Jail on charges of either capital murder, aggravated sexual assault, or human trafficking for her department to honor a “detainer.”
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) January 23, 2017
Governor Abbott wrote a letter to Hernandez on Monday and it read, “This is not a pronouncement of sound public policy; it is a dangerous game of political Russian roulette — with the lives of Texans at stake. Unless you reverse your policy… your unilateral decision will cost the people of Travis County money that was meant to be used to protect them.”
Hernandez, a Democrat, pledged during her campaign to change how Travis County handles immigration detainers. The county used to honor all requests made by federal immigration authorities before she took over as sheriff.
On Friday of last week, Hernandez announced her formal decision on the subject of detainers in a video statement saying, “The public must be confident that local law enforcement is focused on local public safety, not on federal immigration enforcement. Our jail cannot be perceived as a holding tank for ICE or that Travis County deputies are ICE officers.”
See video below:
— Feisty☀️Floridian (@peddoc63) January 25, 2017
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