Sheriff Rejects Body Armor For Deputies To Avoid Cooperating With ICE

A Texas sheriff refused to sign a letter agreeing to hold arrested illegal immigrants for ICE.

​Austin, TX – Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) deputies lost the opportunity to receive lifesaving ballistic vests, after the department’s sheriff decided it was more important to shield illegal immigrants from federal agents.

The vests were made available through a unanimously approved state Senate bill in 2017, which allocated $25 million to help Texas law enforcement agencies to purchase the gear for their officers in the wake of the July 7, 2016 police ambush in Dallas that left five officers dead, KXAN reported.

In January, Governor Abbot declared that $23 million in grants from the fund would be dispersed to buy 33,000 vests for over 450 law enforcement departments who had applied. Every agency that applied was accepted.

The vests are designed to protect against more powerful rounds than the low-caliber bullet vests commonly issued to Texas law enforcement officers.

The applications, which were due by Sep. 6, 2017, required agency leaders to “sign a letter confirming compliance with [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] detainer request both now and during the grant term of at least one year,” Travis County Commissioner’s Court records said, according to KXAN.

Project Manager Valerie Hollier planned to apply for the grant in the amount of $240,000, in order to purchase over 200 rifle-resistant vests for Travis County.

“It is anticipated the number of fatal shootings will be reduced by equipping more officers with type III & IV body armor,” Hollier wrote in her recommendations for seeking the grant.

The only other requirement needed to complete the application was a written commitment from TCSO Sheriff Sally Hernandez, agreeing to hold arrested illegal immigrants for ICE.

But the sheriff refused.

According to county documents, Sheriff Hernandez said she wanted to see whether or not a law banning sanctuary cities would be upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals before she would decide if she was required to cooperate with ICE.

Regardless of the appeals court’s ruling, the case is widely anticipated to proceed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

According to KXAN, a TCSO spokesman said that the sheriff is in compliance with the law at this time, but that she won’t commit to cooperating with ICE long-term.

In the meantime, TCSO will not be receiving rifle-resistant vests.

Sheriff Hernandez declined to comment on the issue, KXAN reported.

Someone please tell me how a little troll like that become a sheriff in the great state of Texas?!

They are asking the Sheriff to comply with the law. Just a few years ago, a Sheriff in Arizona was sued by the US Government for ENFORCING Federal immigration laws. We are no longer a nation of laws, but of the latest news stories or whatever executive edicts come around.

I'm certainly on the conservative side of "middle of the road". I've always voted republican. As a military wife for many years, I fully support our troops. I don't think people who enter our country illegally should be allowed to stay and certainly not tap into government assistance. I actually don't really even LIKE government assistance. At least not for people who are capable of working but choose to live off the system instead. I carry a gun everywhere I go. Some of my best friends are cops, and they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I appreciate and support them, and will back them up in a heartbeat.

But... I think the biggest issue in this situation comes from the fact that the governor's office put a political stipulation on the grant to provide safety equipment to law enforcement. This sheriff is complying with the policy anyway. It's not like she's not. But, if the bill does not fully pass or if the opponents to the bill appeal and win that appeal, then the LAW will not ALLOW her to continue to comply with what the governor's office is demanding in return for providing the funds for the vests.

What that tells me is that she is a law-abiding Sheriff who has taken the time to fully educate herself on what her responsibilities are and is someone who has integrity. Laws are not created and passed at the Sheriff's Office level. And, as Sheriff, she is merely expected (and only allowed) to uphold and enforce the law as it is written. So, she's not willing to sign something that could potentially have two results if the law is not fully passed: 1. She breaks the promise made by signing the paper. Or, 2. She breaks the law by following the stipulations in the paper she has to sign to get the grant. Either one of those are a crap situation, and one created by the governor who is the one who decided that life-saving equipment for law enforcement officers in his state will only be provided with strings attached. Strings that are firmly tied around his political opinion. (One that I agree with, yes. But, still strings.)

Imagine a situation where YOUR governor says, "We'll give you a grant to provide Type III and IV body armor for your officers, but only if you sign a letter agreeing to confiscate all firearms from anyone who has ever had any sort of public display of emotion. If there's anything that says they were angry in public, or cried in public, or even laughed too loud in public, that could indicate that they are unstable. So, you have to confiscate all firearms from them and hold them until the federal agents get there and determine whether they're mentally stable enough to possess them." Would you want your own Sheriff to agree to that in order to provide much-needed equipment to their deputies? Hell, no. You'd be furious with the Governor who made that a requirement to receiving the grant. And, I hazard a guess that you would speak up and try to help find alternative funding to get those deputies outfitted in the necessary equipment. And, THAT is what the citizens of Travis County, Tx need to be doing now... Finding the RIGHT way to get the funding needed to provide the necessary equipment to the people who protect them day and night.

Austin Texas has the one of the worst liberal mayors making it one of the cities more aligned with California and Washington state cities, than any Texas city.

Your firearm a sincere exaggeration and is like comparing apples to oranges. These are ILLEGALS....we are talking about Illegals who need to be held if ICE wants them to be held which is a federal Law Agency....this Sheriff has an obligation to those that pay her salary - the taxpayer - and she won't sign a paper saying when ICE needs people picked up and held - she won't. What part of that do you think is due diligence? What part of that is NOT breaking the law as well? You don't get to pick and choose which laws you obey.