Barring legislative action, Austin is poised to become a true-blue sanctuary city following last night’s election results – which had Democratic Candidate Sally Hernandez winning the office of Travis County Sheriff in a 60 percent landslide.
Normally, when an arrest is made involving an illegal immigrant, local law enforcement can detain them for a period of time while waiting for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to step in and handle any deportation.
But not in Austin, following the change in leadership: Hernandez has previously gone on record saying she intends to completely end cooperation with ICE.
“I just don’t think you solve the criminal justice process by deporting them,” Hernandez said.
Local officials running afoul of state law underscores the need for reform this legislative session. Reforms have been advanced in previous sessions, only to die at the hands of Speaker Straus’ liberal coalition in the House.
If Texans want to see meaningful immigration reform and an end to the patchwork quilt of different policies depending on different local officials, they’ll need to stay active with their legislators when the body reconvenes in January.