Gov. Greg Abbott is making good on his promise to crack down on officials refusing to enforce immigration law, making an example of one such entity and drawing a line in the sand for officials to act on enforcing immigration law.
Last month, newly elected Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez announced her plan to adopt a policy of limited use with ICE detainers for arrested illegal immigrants. Immediately, Gov. Abbott responded by pledging to cut grants from his office to sheriffs’ departments who refuse to enforce such detainers as well as work with lawmakers to draft legislation to remove those officials from office.
Just yesterday, Abbott made good on that promise and cancelled $1.5 million in criminal justice grants to Travis County. He is also urging legislation that would remove officials such as Sally Hernandez, who, in eschewing federal immigration laws, are violating their oaths of office.
Last month, Abbott had a strong admonition for such officials, warning that there would be consequences for such inaction and also pledging to work with lawmakers to adopt other immigration reforms.
“We are working on laws that will, one, ban sanctuary cities, remove from office any officeholder who promotes sanctuary cities [and] impose criminal penalties, as well as financial penalties,” Abbott said. “If she doesn’t, we will remove her from office.”
Of course, none of this would be taking place if legislators had actually done the job for which they are fond of taking credit. Sanctuary cities and similar immigration reforms have come up in the past several sessions, only to die at the hands of house leadership. If Abbott is sincere about getting these things done, he is going to have to pressure the unwilling liberal leadership in charge of the lower chamber.