Newly elected Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez recently announced that starting February 1st, she would end her predecessor’s policy of honoring all jail detainers sought by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,. In response, Republican Governor Greg Abbott told Sheriff Hernandez that her jail would become the first in the state to lose taxpayer money over so-called “sanctuary cities” policies unless she reversed her plans to curtail working with federal immigration authorities.
Today, following Governor Abbott’s demands, U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) issued the following statement:
“Like his previous harassment of Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, Governor Greg Abbott’s improper attempt to intimidate Sheriff Sally Hernandez is totally unjustified.
In his own words, his interference with local law enforcement is “dangerous, misguided,” and it is also without basis in state or federal law. He is attempting to impose by gubernatorial fiat legislation, which neither the Texas Legislature nor the United States Congress chose to approve.
He seeks to advantage one federal law enforcement agency, ICE, over the FBI, NYPD, and all other law enforcement. Sheriff Hernandez has made clear her willingness to cooperate with ICE like any other law enforcement agency by honoring any valid arrest warrant. The Governor’s interference is not based upon what the law is but what he wants to change it to become in order to satisfy GOP orthodoxy. He is attempting to make mandatory what ICE itself says is a voluntary practice. Ours is not a “sanctuary ” city or county, but it is a refuge from anti-immigrant hysteria, with a strong commitment to effective law enforcement.”