AUSTIN - Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez has finally spoken out about her plans to limit U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers at local jails after receiving sharp backlash from state leaders.
Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott informed Hernandez in a three-page letter that her ICE policy would betray her oath to residents of Travis County. He also added that failing to remove the policy before it is enacted on Feb. 1 would run the county the risk of losing grant money from the Criminal Justice Division.
Abbott upped the ante Wednesday by telling Fox News Wednesday that he is working with lawmakers to create legislation that would include civil and criminal penalties for public officials wanting to create sanctuary cities.
Hernandez responded Thursday that she would continue on with her policy because it does not go against the state or federal laws.
According to her video released last Friday, the policy would only honor ICE detainers when a suspect is booked into the Travis County Jail on capital murder, aggravated sexual assault and "continuous smuggling of persons".
Read Hernandez's statement from the Travis County Sheriff's Office in full below:
I respect the job of our state leaders, but I will not allow fear and misinformation to be my guiding principles as a leader sworn to protect this community. I am following all state and federal laws, and upholding constitutional rights to due process for all in our criminal justice system. Our community is safer when people can report crimes without fear of deportation. I trust the court system and our judges to assess the risks and set appropriate bonds and conditions for all who are incarcerated. The voters, who elected state leaders and me, expect and deserve a collaborative effort to come up with solutions to this very complex issue. That is precisely what I’m committed to.
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