Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that he is imposing new standards that will prevent sheriff's offices from getting certain grants from the state unless they fully comply with federal requests to detain illegal immigrants.
"Any applicant that cannot certify that their office will honor all ICE detainers for criminal immigrants will be ineligible for [Criminal Justice Division] funding," Abott wrote in a letter to Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez. "As governor, I simply will not allow CJD grant funding administered by this office to support law enforcement agencies that refuse to cooperate with a federal law enforcement program that is intended to keep dangerous criminals off Texas streets."
Abbot said the new ICE standards for detaining illegal immigrants under the Obama administration are already too weak, which makes it "particularly imperative" for sheriffs to cooperate with ICE as much as possible.
The letter comes just weeks after last month's face-off with Valdez after the governor's office discovered the department was not holding all criminal offenders illegally in the country, which would let federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents pick them up after they are released from jail.