Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has proposed a law to root out “sanctuary cities” in his state. Abbott announced his new legislation on Oct. 26 and hopes to have it taken up by the Texas Legislature in 2017. Abbott has also written a letter to Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, criticizing her policies towards undocumented immigrants.
Valdez announced in September that her jail would resist the automatic, extended imprisonment of undocumented immigrants charged of a minor crime. This policy runs counter to the detainer program of the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Department (ICE), the Associated Press reports.
Abbott criticized Valdez’s decision in a letter, CBS DFW reports.
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‘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. Your decision to not fully honor ICE’s 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. 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.
“Sanctuary city” is an unofficial term used for local governments that do not participate in ICE’s efforts to detain and deport all undocumented immigrants charged with a crime, CBS DFW reports.
The provisions Abbott has proposed include banning policies that provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants and making it impossible for local sheriffs to deny a federal detainer request, Breitbart reports.
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“No matter what we do, someone is going to get upset,” Valdez told the Dallas Morning News in a video interview published on Oct. 12.
“We can’t base our decisions on who is going to get upset with us," she added. "We have to base our decisions on what is best for the whole.”