Houston is not Texas.
As the most cosmopolitan city in the south, it is also the fourth largest city in the entire United States and second only to New York City as home to Fortune 500 headquarters.
It is an international city with a diverse population of over 1 million residents from various ethnic and religious backgrounds who were born outside the United States.
An estimated 400,000 illegal aliens live in the Houston area, primarily from Mexico and Central America, and its sheriff, Sally Hernandez, is determined that she will defend Houston’s commitment as a “sanctuary city” in violation of not only federal law, but now Texas state law.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, however, has a different idea about her stance – one that may land the sheriff in the very jail behind the same bars where illegal immigrants should be.
Abbott is responding to warnings from the Trump administration that federal funding will be withheld from cities, counties and states that deliberately refuse to cooperate with Immigration Customs and Enforcement officials in detaining illegal aliens under federal law.
Also, the Texas State Legislature has passed legislation that would halt state funding to the cities, impose fines and subject officials to criminal prosecution for refusing to comply with federal law.
Abbott initially responded to Hernandez’s announcement that she would instruct the Travis County Sheriff’s Department to withhold cooperation with federal immigration officials by withholding $1.5 million in law enforcement grants to the County, which includes Austin, the state capital.
“What she’s done is absolutely reprehensible. She’s actually released back out onto the streets very dangerous criminals that federal ICE agents wanted to have detained,” Gov. Abbott told LifeZette Editor-in-Chief, Laura Ingraham.
“This includes countless individuals who are here illegally who’ve been charged with felonies. It includes a person who’s been charged with sexual assault of a woman, a person who’s been charged with sexual assault of a minor.”
“It could lead to actual criminal penalties against people like this sheriff for violating their oath of office and, hopefully, put her behind bars — the bars that she has tried to release people from,” he said.
Last year, Houston’s openly gay mayor, Annise Parker, made national news when she subpoenaed pastors in city churches demanding a prior review of their sermons to monitor comments about gender issues during the controversy surrounding President Obama’s order regarding transgender bathroom use.
Parker, who was sued by a group of pastors after the subpoenas were withdrawn, was term-limited out of office in 2016.