According to a report by the Texas Department of Public Safety, over 644,000 crimes are alleged to have been committed by foreign nationals residing either illegally or legally in the State between June 1, 2011 and January 31, 2018. Those charges include:
- 18,256 burglary charges;
- 77,381 drug charges;
- 780 kidnapping charges;
- 43,900 theft charges;
- 49,535 obstructing police charges;
- 4,210 robbery charges;
- 6,951 sexual assault charges; and
- 9,653 weapon charges officials stated.
Of the total crimes, 66 percent (162,000) were committed by illegal aliens, as per the report.
The report further stated that out of these, 288,000 cases saw criminal convictions. Of it, around 191,000 crimes were committed by illegal aliens:
- 556 homicide convictions;
- 28,878 assault convictions;
- 8,975 burglary convictions;
- 37,920 drug convictions;
- 271 kidnapping convictions;
- 9,943 theft convictions;
- 24,252 obstructing police convictions;
- 2,181 robbery convictions;
- 3,207 sexual assault convictions; and
- 4,006 weapon convictions.
Sanctuary Policies Opposed In Texas
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers regularly issue detaining orders for the illegal aliens who get charged or convicted of crimes in Texas and sheriffs in most Texas counties fully cooperate with such immigration detainers.
In January 2017 however the new sheriff of Travis County (Austin), Sally Hernandez, announced she would be ending her county’s policies involving full cooperation with immigration officials.
Called “Sanctuary Sally” by her opponent during her election campaign, Sheriff Hernandez said she will be ending the policy under which immigration officers were allowed to work inside the county’s jail. She has said previously that the criminal justice process cannot be solved by deporting the immigrants.
Shortly after, Sheriff Hernandez’ office was reported as the top sanctuary jurisdiction in releasing criminal aliens on whom ICE officers had placed an immigration hold.
Between January 28 and February 3, 2017, Travis County accounted for 149 inmates out of the total 206 criminal aliens released as per an ICE report. After a public furor, Sheriff Martinez said she would review her policy to release violent criminal aliens.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott criticised her response, stating that a “review” was “not good enough,” and said that her sanctuary policy “must end.” He further penalised the county by withdrawing nearly $1.8 million in state law enforcement grants.
Nonetheless, the sheriff released a further 39 criminal aliens from her jail in February.
Following this, the governor made the ending of local sanctuary jurisdiction policies an emergency item in his 2017 State of the State speech and State Senator Charles Perry introduced SB4 which is now the toughest law against sanctuary cities in the US.
Governor Abbott signed the bill into law in May 2017.
Texas’s Anti-Sanctuary Law Most Stringent In America
Under its provisions, any law enforcement officer failing to follow the law would be subject to “the stiffest penalties in America” in case of sanctuary city policies.
The penalties included jail time for sheriffs, removal action and stiff fines up to $25,000 per day. The law has made ignoring an immigration detainer a Class A misdemeanour
While Sheriff Hernandez ceased her controversial practice of releasing violent criminal aliens from her jail , in January 2018, San Antonio Chief of Police William McManus was censured for releasing a group of immigrants who were being smuggled in the back of a tractor-trailer.
The president of the San Antonio Police Officer Association Michael Helle urged the government to place the chief on administrative leave saying that Chief McManus may have “violated state or federal laws.”
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has directed the Texas Attorney General to examine the incident for any violation of the SB4 sanctuary law.
The OAG spokesman Mark Rylander acknowledged that multiple complaints regarding the incident have been made, and said that the issue was being investigated. The AG Ken Paxton’s office has sent a letter to the City of San Antonio demanding that all related evidence be preserved.
According to reports, a San Antonio City Council member has also asked the U.S. Department of Justice to review the matter to see if McManus violated any federal laws.