Texas Governor Greg Abbott admonished Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez over her recent decision to consider honoring immigration detainers on a “case-by-case” basis. The governor said sanctuary city policies like this 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.
“’Sanctuary City’ policies like those promoted by your recent decision to implement your own case-by-case immigrant detention plan will no longer be tolerated in Texas,” Abbott began in his letter attached below. “Your decision to not fully honor U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) requests to detain criminal immigrants poses a serious danger to Texans. These detainers provide ICE with the critical notice and time it needs to take incarcerated immigrants into federal custody.”
“Your refusal to fully participate in a federal law enforcement program intended to keep dangerous criminals off the streets leaves the State no choice but to take whatever actions are necessary to protect our fellow Texans,” Abbott continued. “Now more than ever, it is essential that state, federal, and local law enforcement work collaboratively to protect our fellow Texans and to ensure that our laws are upheld, not disregarded.”
The governor laid out actions he and the state of Texas could take in response to the renegade actions of this sheriff. Those include the following:
- Passing laws that prohibit any policy or action that promotes sanctuary to people in this state illegally.
- Enacting laws that make it illegal for a Sheriff’s Department to not honor a federal immigration detainer request.
- Evaluating the extent to which local taxpayers should foot the bill for local decisions that increase costs for Texas’ health and education systems.
- Amending the Tort Claims Act to ensure counties are fully financially responsible for the actions of any illegal immigrants who are released because the county’s Sheriff failed to honor an ICE detainer request.
Valdez says her new policy applies only to those who have committed minor offenses. She issued an order that these inmates not be held the additional 48 hours for ICE officials as has been done in the past, as reported by Breitbart Texas.
“No matter what we do, someone is going to get upset,” Valdez told Dallas Morning News reporters. “We can’t base our decisions on who is going to get upset with us. We have to base our decisions on what is best for the whole.” She did not elaborate on how releasing criminal illegal aliens into the community before ICE is able to determine if there is grounds for detention or deportation makes her community safer.
Lopez said that instead of looking at felonies vs. misdemeanors, she would instead base her decisions on a case-by-case basis.
“Now more than ever,” Abbott concluded in his letter, “it is essential that state, federal, and local law enforcement work collaboratively to protect our fellow Texans and to ensure that our laws are upheld, not disregarded.”
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.