2015 ushered in the first new governor for the Lone Star State in over a decade. In January, the new governor, former Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, was sworn in and immediately went to work on securing the border between Texas and Mexico and took the strongest stand of any state’s governor in attacking sanctuary cities.
The new governor delivered his first State of the State address before a joint session of the Texas Legislature in February, Breitbart Texas reported. During that speech he called on the legislature to double the budget for border security in Texas. He also called for an additional 500 Department of Public Safety troopers to be hired, trained and deployed to the border region and other strategic locations across the state.
In June, Abbott signed the toughest border security bill of any state in the nation into law, Breitbart Texas’ Lana Shadwick reported. The legislature expanded the state budget and allocated $800 million for border security. The bill also establishes a Child Sex Trafficking Prevention Unit, strengthens penalties for human traffickers, increases funding for the border protection unit, and seeks reimbursement from the federal government for Texas funds spent on border issues.
The Texas legislature failed to pass any bill regarding sanctuary cities in Texas, so Abbott went to work on his own plan to deal with law enforcement officials who won’t enforce the law.
In October, Breitbart Texas reported the governor’s call to end sanctuary city policies in Texas. Abbott said, in response to an announcement from Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, that these types of sanctuary city policies will “no longer be tolerated in Texas.”
Governor Abbott wrote the tersely worded letter to Sheriff Valdez after her decision to scale back on honoring immigration detainers sent to her jail by the federal government’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Her announcement was reported by Breitbart Texas on October 12.
A week later, the governor put his words into action. Abbott announced a new plan to strip state grant funding from county sheriff’s with a Sanctuary City policy of not honoring ICE detainers, Breitbart Texas reported.
“I am establishing new standards for Sheriff’s Departments that seek grants from the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division (CJD),” Governor Abbott wrote in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Beginning now, all CJD grant awards will require that Sheriff’s Departments fully honor ICE’s detention requests for criminal immigrants. Any applicant that cannot certify that their office will honor all ICE detainers for criminal immigrants will be ineligible for CJD funding. Further, any applicant that certifies full compliance with ICE detainer requests—but subsequently fails to honor an ICE detainer—will be subject to claw-back provisions and must refund the full amount of their CJD grant award.”
The governor also attacked the federal government for weakening its own standards on deporting criminal illegal aliens. “Given this weakened standard, it is particularly imperative that Texas [s]heriffs fully participate with ICE’s detainer program so that every single federal detainer request for a criminal immigrant is honored,” the governor wrote. “More broadly, it is vitally important that Sheriffs lead by example and enforce the rule of law.”
Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby reviewed the federal government’s new program in a January, 2015 article. Darby called the program “Catch and Release 2.0.”
Breitbart has reported extensively on crimes committed by criminal illegal aliens who were either not deported after committing crimes in the United States or who returned to the U.S. after being deported several times, only to commit even more heinous crimes.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.