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Dallas County Votes to ‘End Nonessential Collaborations’ with ICE

On the same day that the Texas State Senate voted to cut funds for sanctuary cities, the commissioners court of Dallas County passed the “Welcoming Communities” resolution. Officials have voted to “end nonessential collaborations” with U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Immigration Enforcement (ICE) divison.

The resolution was passed by a vote of 4 to 1 and the only Republican on the court, Commissioner Mike Cantrell, voted against the measure. Cantrell said calling for the end of “nonessential collaborations” with ICE, “paints a bull’s eye on Dallas County.” He noted that both President Trump and Texas Governor Greg Abbott said sanctuary jurisdictions will be stripped of federal and state funds, reported the Dallas Morning News.

“This is a resolution that supports open borders and will label Dallas County as a sanctuary county,” Cantrell told the Morning News. “This resolution is nothing more than pitching a personal and political agenda.”

Breitbart Texas reported in November that Texas Governor Abbott announced that he was going to strip state grant funding from county sheriffs who had a policy of not honoring ICE detainers. His announcement followed an order by Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, stating that criminal illegal aliens in her jail will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in determining whether ICE detainers will be enforced.

Breitbart Texas reported that Texas Governor Greg Abbott said during his State of the State Address in late January that halting sanctuary cities was one of his emergency items.

A day after his address to the Texas Legislature, the Governor blocked state law enforcement grants to Travis County (Austin). Breitbart Texas reported that Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez, dubbed “Sanctuary Sally,” declared the city a sanctuary jurisdiction. She has continued in her resolve and as we reported, released 39 criminal illegal aliens in the first two days after the governor stopped the funds going to her county.

Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia who was born in Mexico but moved to the U.S. many years ago, told the Dallas paper that she introduced the resolution to calm migrants and make them feel safe in the county. “The purpose of this resolution is the dream – the American dream,” she said. When asked to define “nonessential collaborations” with ICE, she was reported to answer, “We don’t want to do the federal government’s work. ‘Nonessential’ means exactly that.”

Dallas City Councilman Lee Kleinman reportedly urged the commissioners to remove the language about ceasing “nonessential collaborations” saying, “We are asking to have our hands slapped–so please don’t put us in that position where we get named a sanctuary city.” He said he supported the intent of the resolution but noted that the City receives tens of millions of federal dollars. “We’re going to reject federal funding to make a statement,” he was reported to say.

The Dallas Mayor, Mike Rawlings, released a statement that said he wanted the city to remain a “welcoming, tolerant city,” but was also concerned about any pushback.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said, “We’re not trying to poke a bear. If the bear eventually comes over here, we’ll try to fight the bear. But until then, we’re trying to work with the bear.”

According to the Morning News, the resolution said that Texas counties spent $210 million housing illegal aliens in their jails during the time period of December 2012 and October 2015 and were only reimbursed for $4 million.

Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Phillip Huffines responded to the vote in a written statement obtained by Breitbart Texas, “I am disappointed in the liberal Dallas County Commissioners Court who placed their personal agenda ahead of Dallas County residents when they voted ‘yes’ on a resolution painting Dallas County as a sanctuary city. It is reckless to support open borders for illegal immigrants whilst ceasing Dallas County’s cooperation with I.C.E.”

Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.

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