We can’t know for sure if Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez believes that her deputies should have access to bulletproof vests capable of stopping rifle rounds, but we do know that the Texas Democrat thinks it’s more important that she treat her county as a sanctuary fiefdom in defiance of state law.
We know this because Hernandez had the opportunity to take advantage of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s $23 million grant program, which would have had the state taxpayers fund new protective vests for more than 400 law enforcement agencies. She chose not to, because to sign up for the money would have meant she had to “sign a letter confirming compliance with ICE detainer requests both now and during the grant term of at least one year.” That was a bridge too far for Hernandez, who thinks it is her job to make sure that illegal immigrants in her county are protected from federal law enforcement authorities.
From KXAN News:
According to county documents, project manager Valerie Hollier planned on asking for a state grant of approximately $240,000, enough for more than 200 rifle-resistant vests.
“It is anticipated the number of fatal shootings will be reduced by equipping more officers with type III & IV body armor,” according to the recommendations.
However, county staff wrote to commissioners that the county wouldn’t apply and didn’t qualify because Sheriff Hernandez would not sign a letter committing to hold arrested undocumented immigrants for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Staff wrote Hernandez wanted to wait until the outcome of Senate Bill 4 was decided.
Senate Bill 4 is a law passed by the Texas legislature in 2017 that requires all county sheriffs to comply with detainer requests sent to them by ICE. In other words, if you arrest an illegal immigrant for a crime and ICE asks you to hold them in custody until they can take them away for possible deportation, you have to abide by that request. The bill has been put on hold, however, while opponents challenge the law in federal court.
“If SB4 is upheld,” said county documents, “the Sheriff has states that she would sign the letter and the grant would be submitted.”
In other words, if the Supreme Court ultimately decides that Texas’s law REQUIRING her to obey federal immigration detainer requests is valid, she will then apply for the grant. Otherwise, her deputies will not have the life-saving armor that is being provided to hundreds of other law enforcement agencies around the state.
This is a glimpse into the window of one Democrats’ priorities. She would rather bend over backwards to protect illegal immigrants – CRIMINAL illegal immigrants, for that matter – than give her men the protection they deserve. That’s a hell of a stand to take.