Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez recently received a stern letter from Texas Governor Greg Abbott in response to her announcement that she would not “comply with federal requests to detain immigrants in the country illegally if her office does not find them to be a significant risk to public safety”, according to a recent article in the Red State publication. In the letter Governor Abbott penned in response to the sheriff he wrote as follows: “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. Policies like yours compel Texas to take action to protect Texans’ safety and to reduce the costs that those policies may on impose on Texas taxpayers.”
Abbott further wrote, “At a minimum, Texas must pass laws that prohibit any policy or action like yours that promotes sanctuary to people in this state illegally. The State must also enact laws that make it illegal for a Sheriff’s Department to not honor a federal immigration detainer request. Texas must also evaluate the extent to which local taxpayers should foot the bill for local decisions that increase costs for our health and education systems. Further, the State should consider 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.”
The sanctuary city issue recently received national attention based on an incident in San Francisco. Kate Steinle was shot dead on Fisherman’s Wharf while walking with her father by an illegal alien who had felony convictions and who had been deported several times. The San Francisco sheriff refused to honor the federal detainer for the illegal alien’s arrest. As a result, the illegal alien has now been indicted for the murder of Steinle. Steinle is dead today because of San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy.
Texas governor Abbott’s message to the Dallas sheriff is refreshing. If she wants to flout the laws of the land and put at risk the citizens of Dallas, then she should pay the financial price. Abbott’s recommendation that the State reconsider its Torts Claims Act to ensure counties (i.e. Dallas) are financially responsible for the actions of illegal aliens released onto the streets by the sheriff’s refusal to obey the law is a brilliant idea. If the Dallas sheriff is not concerned about protecting the safety of the citizens of the Metroplex, then maybe she will be concerned about the money the city of Dallas will have to pay out out its coffers.
Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is facing a tough re-election battle in San Francisco tomorrow (Tuesday, November 3). He is the sheriff who released an illegal alien this summer who is now charged with the murder of Kate Steinle, in arrogant disregard for the federal detainer which was in place, according to Fox News. An unabashed supporter of his city being a Sanctuary City, voters in San Francisco would do well tomorrow to flood the polls and vote him out of office.
Abbott’s office has said any action against Texas sanctuary cities will wait until next regular legislative session in 2017, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Some people have requested the governor call a special session to deal with the sanctuary city issue. However, a special session would prove highly costly.
In his letter to Valdez Abbott said Sheriff Valdez’s decision to make Dallas a sanctuary city “poses a serious danger to Texans” and that it will no longer “be tolerated.” Abbott’s strong stand against sanctuary cities in Texas is refreshing. Hopefully, it will prevent Texas from suffering a “Kate Steinle murder” similar to what occurred in San Francisco. Hopefully, citizens of the City By the Bay will turn out in droves tomorrow to vote Sheriff Mirkarimi out of office before any more innocent citizens like Kate Steinle are murdered.