Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Texas to withhold state grants for Sheriffs who refuse to work with ICE

On Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a letter to all Texas Sheriffs informing them that awards of grant funding from the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division (CJD) will be conditioned on their Department’s full compliance with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) notification and detention requests.

Under this new policy, any Sheriff’s Department that does not fully honor ICE’s detention requests will be ineligible for CJD grant funding from the Governor’s Office.

“I am establishing new standards for Sheriff’s Departments that seek grants from the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division (CJD).

Beginning now, all CJD grant awards will require that Sheriff’s Departments fully honor ICE’s detention requests for criminal immigrants. Any applicant that cannot certify that their office will honor all ICE detainers for criminal immigrants will be ineligible for CJD funding.

"Further, any applicant that certifies full compliance with ICE detainer requests—but subsequently fails to honor an ICE detainer—will be subject to claw-back provisions and must refund the full amount of their CJD grant award.

“I agree with many Sheriffs who have been critical of ICE’s recent decision to weaken the standard for issuing detainer requests. Given this weakened standard, it is particularly imperative that Texas Sheriffs fully participate with ICE’s detainer program so that every single federal detainer request for a criminal immigrant is honored.

"More broadly, it is vitally important that Sheriffs lead by example and enforce the rule of law.

“As Governor, I simply will not allow CJD grant funding administered by this office to support law enforcement agencies that refuse to cooperate with a federal law enforcement program that is intended to keep dangerous criminals off Texas streets," Abbott said.

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