Texas Governor Greg Abbott Lowers the Boom On Sanctuary Cities

On Friday, newly elected Travis County, TX, sheriff, Sally Hernandez announced that the People’s Republic of Austin was not going to honor federal holds for illegal immigrants arrested unless it was a very serious crime like befouling wetlands, using politically incorrect speech, or capital murder

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Newly-elected Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez on Friday made good on her most controversial campaign promise, announcing that her department would reduce its cooperation with federal immigration authorities when they request an inmate be flagged for possible deportation.

The announcement will undoubtedly set up a showdown with state Republican officials, especially Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who have pledged to eliminate “sanctuary cities,” the common term for cities where law enforcement doesn’t enforce immigration laws.

“The public must be confident that local law enforcement is focused on local public safety, not on federal immigration enforcement,” Hernandez said in an online video. She added that her jail can’t be seen as a holding tank for federal immigration offenders and that the policy change will save taxpayer money.

Welp. They certainly guessed that right.

“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,” Abbott wrote to Hernandez — whose jurisdiction includes Austin — in a letter dated Monday.

The newly elected sheriff, who campaigned on the issue, announced Friday that her department would reduce its cooperation with federal immigration authorities when they request an inmate be flagged for possible deportation. Her office said it would still continue to hold people charged with very serious crimes, such as capital murder.

But that was not enough for Abbott, whose letter calls the policy, which is set to go into effect Feb. 1, “shortsighted” and backed by “frivolous” justifications. He quickly reacted Friday on Twitter, saying that his office “will cut funding for Travis County adopting sanctuary. Stiffer penalties coming.”

Abbott’s threat targets Criminal Justice Division grant money that is administered by his office. Travis County got almost $1.8 million from the division over the last year “based upon the commitment that federal immigration law would be enforced,” according to the letter.

“Your policy is in violation of that commitment,” Abbott told Hernandez. “Unless you reverse your policy prior to its effective date, your unilateral decision will cost the people of Travis County money that was meant to be used to protect them.”

In the letter, Abbott also made clear that he intends to make an example out of Hernandez during the 85th legislative session that started earlier this month. Abbott is set to lay out his priorities in his State of the State address, which is scheduled for Jan. 31.

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This is what GOP governors should be doing across the nation. Governors have immense power to choke off this type of nonsense if they only had the hueveos to take action. I predict that this Hernandez creature will hold out until after the deadline, so she can say she did, but she is going to fold because no socialist regime can exist with a steady influx of cash from taxpayers.

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