“Just politics” in Texas turning into a war over immigration policy

posted at 8:01 pm on February 9, 2017 by Taylor Millard

Football may be sports king in Texas, but politics is a close second. The latest high-stakes match is between Governor Greg Abbott and Dallas County over a resolution on immigration. Here’s the part which is getting the most attention.

Dallas County seeks to ensure safe communities that recognize, respect, protect and rely on all individuals residing in the County and calls on local law enforcement agencies to end nonessential collaborations with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and

Dallas County furthermore calls on local law enforcement agencies to fully and vigorously enforce hate crimes statutes when crimes are committed against a person based on identity or documentation status; and

Dallas County is a welcoming community and will stand with municipalities and anchor institutions such as Independent School Districts and hospitals throughout the County, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and any groups aiding refugees and immigrants, to preserve safety and security.

It caused Governor Greg Abbott to tell The Dallas Morning News there’d be future consequences (emphasis mine).

“If anybody acts on that resolution to make Dallas a sanctuary city, if any sanctuary city policy is implemented in any way, the hammer will come down on them,” Abbott said.

Abbott, who has cut funding to Travis County over the sheriff’s sanctuary policy, said he would make it “financially impossible” for Dallas County to reduce its cooperation with federal immigration authorities. But he acknowledged that the resolution alone wasn’t an actual policy; he vowed to take action if any policies are enacted.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins just shrugged at the threat. Via DMN.

“It’s just politics,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. “People in the Legislature want to show who’s the toughest on immigration and these so-called sanctuary cities.”…

The four Democratic Dallas County commissioners felt the need to pass the resolution, Jenkins said, to make immigrants feel safe calling 911, working with police and sending their kids to school.

Cue *eyeroll* from me at this entire thing.

I’m in favor of immigration, and it’s great people want to come here. I don’t believe the U.S. Constitution allows the government (any government) to regulate who can and can’t come into the country (although the feds can set rules for becoming a citizen). There’s plenty of debate over this, but the Constitution is pretty clear in Article I, Section 8 when it says Congress can “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” It’s true Article I, Section 9 bans Congress from enacting rules on “The Migration and Importation of such Person as any of the States now think proper to admit,” until 1808, but involves slavery, not immigration.

But this isn’t a debate on immigration, it’s two governments basically thumbing their nose at each other with resolutions that pretty much mean nothing. All Abbott, Jenkins, and Dallas County are doing are catering to their constituents. Abbott wants immigration hardliners to know he’s got their backs, and will punish local governments who don’t follow the current (imo unconstitutional) federal law. Jenkins and Dallas County want non-hardliners to know they’re against Abbott and President Donald Trump. This entire thing is stupid and all about politics, not things which are really important.

Jon Cassidy at Watchdog agrees, especially with Abbott’s decision to stop handing out grants to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office over an immigration disagreement.

The issue is a largely symbolic one, as Travis County could choose on its own to fund any programs that Abbott cuts off. But it has served as material for Abbott’s latest Twitterstorms about cracking down on sanctuary cities, and it gets him on Fox News.

Cassidy also points out American citizens have sued after ICE made a mistake and issued an immigration detainer. There are also civil liberties violations for people who may be being held without probable cause. It would end up costing taxpayers, especially if more lawsuits end up being filed.

But the point needs to be made: Dallas County isn’t telling law enforcement to not help out ICE. Their resolution is purely symbolic, and everyone (including Abbott) knows this. It’s all politics, and trying to get votes for future elections. It just makes people with cooler heads roll their eyes at the stupidity of it all.


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