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Gov. Greg Abbott and Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez. Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Martin do Nascimento

In “Sanctuary” Fight, Abbott Cuts Off Funding to Travis County

Gov. Greg Abbott has followed through on his threat to cut off state funding for Travis County over its new “sanctuary” policy.

Abbott’s office said Wednesday it has canceled criminal justice grants it usually administers to the county, whose sheriff, Sally Hernandez, recently announced her department would reduce its cooperation with federal immigration authorities when they request an inmate be flagged for possible deportation. The policy was set to go into effect Wednesday.

The move appears to target about $1.5 million Travis County was due to receive this year from the criminal justice division of the governor’s office. The division doled out $1.8 million to the county last year and has already paid out roughly $300,000 in 2017.

Hernandez, whose jurisdiction includes Austin, has showed no signs of backing down from the policy, even after Abbott raised the prospect she could be removed from office. The move came a day after Abbott named banning so-called “sanctuary cities” one of four emergency items in his State of the State speech.

Democrats had pushed back on Abbott’s threat to withhold the grant money by noting it funds programs that help children, women, families and veterans. But the Republican governor has held firm, saying his No. 1 concern is public safety.

Abbott’s move Wednesday was first reported by the Austin American-Statesman.

Related Tribune coverage:

  • Gov. Abbott demands Travis County reverse new “sanctuary” policy.
  • Travis County sheriff announces new “sanctuary” policy.
  • Six years later, fight over anti-sanctuary cities bill has changed.

Author:  PATRICK SVITEK – The Texas Tribune

About The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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3 comments

  1. You harbor illegal aliens, you lose state and federal funding, period!

  2. If the United States only belong to White nationalist like mad mike,greg abbott,donald trump and president STEVE BANNON. The entire nation would end up in disaster,flames and ruins. greg abbott needs to step down! taking it out on an entire Texas County such as Travis County needs to make Texans rethink on how the next time they vote.republican control by dictatorship fascist is ruining our great state by a very mean spirited Texas ruler considering that he is a paraplegic. His accident that left him paralyzed didn’t teach him one bit of being a compassionate decent human being. Just like the fascist donald trump; a dark shadow has being cast upon us all.

Victor&Charlie728