(REPORT) — Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that he and state lawmakers will pursue legislation that would “remove from office any officeholder who promotes sanctuary cities,” raising a new consequence as Republicans crack down on local officials who do not fully cooperate with federal immigration officials.
Abbott is threatening to cut off state funding to Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez after she announced Friday she would reduce her department’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities when they request an inmate be flagged for possible deportation. If she continues with the policy, Abbott suggested a more serious punishment.
“We will remove her from office,” Abbott said in an interview on Fox News.
It was not immediately clear how legislation would remove from office Hernandez, who won election last year. Sanctuary cities opponents view such officials’ immigration policies as a violation of their oaths of office.
The Fox News interview appears to be the first time Abbott has suggested officials like Hernandez could lose their jobs under sanctuary cities legislation. Abbott is expected to prioritize the legislation in his State of the State address on Tuesday.
Hernandez’s office did not have an immediate comment on Abbott’s remarks.
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