Last Night I was lucky enough to be interviewed on KEYE-TV CBS Austin by Adam Hammons. The interview was about the Go Fund Me Account I started on Wednesday, February 1st, as soon as Gov.Abbott took away the $1.5 million dollar Grant from Sheriff Hernandez’s office. As of noon today February 4th, in 72 hours, my Go Fund Me Account for Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s Office has raised $5000.
Reporter Adam Hammons also interviewed State Rep. Bennie Rodriguez who launched a website Friday, February 3rd. working with the Austin Community Foundation and is using the hashtag #StongerTogether as the account to help fund the programs Abbott’s actions cut which served Veterans, Children and Rehab Programs to assist Drug Addicts and Prostitutes wanting to get off of the streets and begin a new life. Gov. Abbott new that these funds went to these programs sponsored by the Sheriff’s Department before pulling the Grant Money!
This was done by Gov. Abbott as political retribution because Sheriff Hernandez changed the policy with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) from the one under the former Sheriff.
Sally Hernandez’s new policy went into effect on Wednesday February 1st. Here is her new policy:
- TCSO will not “conduct or initiate any immigration status investigation” into people within their custody.
- TCSO will not use county resources or time communicating with ICE about an “inmate’s release date, incarceration status, or court dates, unless ICE presents a judicial warrant or court order.”
- Without a judicial warrant or court order, ICE will not be allowed to carry out “civil immigration status investigations at the jail or TCSO offices.”
- “No TCSO personnel in the jail, on patrol, or elsewhere may inquire about a person’s immigration status.”
Sheriff Hernandez said “Everyone arrested in Travis County will be treated the same under the law.”
I am going to share the video from Adam Hammons story which aired last night, Saturday, February 3rd, on KEYE CBS Austin with the links to both my Go Fund Me account and the new Account set up by State Rep. Bennie Rodriguez to raise money for the support of these programs that lost the $1.5 million taken away by Abbott. The link to Austin Community Services that will donate to the Sheriff’s Fund is #StrongerTogether. The money raised on my Go Fund Me Account will be given to the Austin Community Services office specifically for the programs run through Sheriff Sally Hernandez Department.
There will be lawsuits going on for awhile so it could be months or longer before these important and necessary programs regain funding from the grant money taken away by Abbott. We must all support Sheriff Sally Hernandez and Judge Sarah Eckhardt who is coordinating these funds with Austin Community Foundation and representing Travis County against this illegal action taken by Gov. Greg Abbott.
As the Texas ACLU stated this week: “Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s decision to limit cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is, to be sure, politically controversial. Her decision, nonetheless, is above constitutional reproach.
The late Antonin Scalia, President Trump’s favorite Supreme Court Justice, has an important federalism lesson for the president or others who might plan to conscript state and local officials to enforce his draconian immigration policies. In Printz v. United States (1997), Scalia held that “the Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program.”
Here is the News Story from KEYE CBS last night:
Below is the article written by reporter Adam Hammons that went on the KEYE TV website under the video of his story:
“A state representative has launched a new website for Travis County in hopes of getting donations from the public after Gov. Greg Abbot cut state grant funding to the county over the sheriff’s immigration detainer policy.
Gov. Abbott’s office on Wednesday announced that criminal justice grants it usually administers to the county had been canceled do to the sheriff’s so-called ‘sanctuary’ polices. The cut amounts to about $1.5 million.
Since announcing it last month, Sheriff Sally Hernandez has refused to alter the county’s new immigration policy that will restrict deputies’ compliance with federal detention requests.
The policy would also end access for U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents to county detention centers.
Now, State Representative Eddie Rodriguez is hoping his initiative can make up the funding gap.
“It’s a good way for people to feel connected, to feel empowered and obviously it’s a great way to get these services back online,” Rodriguez said Friday.
It’s called Travis County #StrongerTogether and is partnered with Austin Community Foundation. Donors will receive a charitable tax donation, according to the website.
“Our goal is to fill that gap that the governor has left,” Rodriguez said.
The web site says women, children and veterans will suffer if the programs funded by the grants are abruptly eliminated — and State Rep. Rodriguez blasts Gov. Abbott for trying to score political points for the cuts — but nowhere does it mention Sheriff Hernandez’s ICE policy.
Travis County judge Sarah Eckhardt released this statement on the fundraiser:
“I encourage other efforts in this beautiful groundswell of support to work with ACF. It has the capacity to handle the accounting necessary to get these funds over to affected court programs quickly and cleanly for donors and the County.”
There have been other online fundraisers started by members of the public. Kevin Orr started one that raised more than $2,000 in two days. He says his fundraiser will stay open, but will be connected with the Austin Community Foundation.
“It’s not right for those people to have their funding cut because Greg Abbott gets mad at the new sheriff,” Orr said.
“If this is what we have to do, this is what we have to do,’ he said.
Rodriguez and Orr say the fundraiser has a chance to raise the $1.5 million. As of Friday night, it had raised more than $24,000 in eight hours.”
A story earlier this week was aired by Scott Pelley on CBS Evening News which also explains what is going on here in Austin, Travis County, Texas. Please watch this to to further understand how taking away these funds hurts the citizens of Travis County.