Sanctuary Sheriff Forfeits Funds

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security issued its first ‘detainer’ report, identifying sanctuary cities where local police have released illegal immigrants despite requests by federal authorities to detain them. Travis County, Texas, law enforcement refused to honor 142 out of 206 detainers for aliens with criminal charges, or nearly 70 percent of declined detainers nationwide. Unlike the 13 other Texas sheriffs who are fully supportive of U.S. immigration laws, “Sanctuary Sheriff” Sally Hernandez said that she wouldn’t always cooperate with President Trump’s administration unless Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had a warrant from a judge or if the person was charged with murder, aggravated sexual assault, or human trafficking.

Sheriff Sally’s declaration that her “jail can’t be seen as a holding tank for federal immigration offenders and that the policy change will save taxpayer money” set up a showdown with Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has pledged to eliminate sanctuary cities across the state. Immediately after Sheriff Sally’s announcement, Governor Abbott cut state funding to the sanctuary county to the tune of $1.5 million in state law enforcement grants. In an effort to recoup the state funds lost because of Sheriff Sally’s sanctuary policies, Texas State Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-TX51) started a crowdfunding page. Instead, the crowdfunding page seems to be a real “crowd loser” raising about $136,000 – less than one tenth of the lost funding.

Losing $1.5 million in state law enforcement grants could be just the beginning for Travis County. Governor Abbott has vowed to take additional action against sanctuary jurisdictions. He has stated Texas is “working on a piece of legislation that will impose criminal penalties, where the sheriff herself can wind up behind bars and, hence, be removed from office, fines that can add up to millions of dollars per year, as well as other penalties.” Further, as a result of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement earlier this week that he will withhold federal law enforcement grants to sanctuary jurisdictions, Travis County may lose millions of federal dollars too.

Sheriff Sally’s policies aren’t just unpopular with Governor Abbott and Attorney General Sessions, they are also unpopular with the American people. According to polling done by Rasmussen last week, 35 percent of American voters support their communities declaring themselves a sanctuary for illegal aliens and 52 percent want to eliminate federal funding for sanctuary jurisdictions.




About Author


Shari Rendall brings to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) over 15 years of experience in government relations and grassroots advocacy. In her former position, Shari led the legislation department in coordinating lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill and briefing congressional and administration staff on a wide range of issues. She has also been responsible for grassroots communications and helping state associations devise their legislative strategies. She began her time in D.C. working on Capitol Hill in the office of former Sen. Bob Smith (R-New Hampshire) as a Legislative Aide.


  1. avatar

    Obama administration has admitted that Sanctuary Cities are a problem:

    But, within the above letter, doesn’t really address what the Obama administration will actually do about it to protect US Citizens:

    IGS poll: Californians oppose sanctuary city policies

    “Californians strongly oppose “sanctuary city” policies under which local authorities ignore federal requests to detain undocumented immigrants who have been arrested but are about to be released, according to a new poll released today by the Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) at UC Berkeley.”

  2. avatar

    Some are making a point of the fact that much is made of the influence of Russia in this country when the fact is that Democrats have all but turned over the keys to White House to Mexico. On second thought, cancel that “all but”.

    Obama’s White House Domestic Policy director was Cecilia Munoz, a former vice president at La Raza, an organization that believes foreigners have the right to come here legally or illegally. So American domestic policy was directed by someone who seems to think that this country only exists to help those of her ancestry, whether Americans or not.

    Or look at their choices for party chairman, Supreme Court Justices, and Cabinet positions. Many are from Latino advocacy groups similar to La Raza whose interests are not the citizens of this country, but helping illegals avoid the law.