LAW & ORDER

Gov. Abbott demands Travis County reverse new "sanctuary" policy

Gov. Greg Abbott and Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez.
Gov. Greg Abbott and Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez.

Gov. Greg Abbott is formally demanding that Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez reverse her new policy on cooperation with federal immigration authorities or lose state dollars, further escalating a showdown over "sanctuary cities" that have been in the crosshairs of Republican officials. 

Travis County sheriff announces new "sanctuary" policy

Travis County Constable Sally Hernandez is running for Travis County sheriff as a Democrat vowing to "get ICE out of Austin," meaning the local jail will no longer cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, making Austin the first true "sanctuary city" in the state.
Travis County Constable Sally Hernandez is running for Travis County sheriff as a Democrat vowing to "get ICE out of Austin," meaning the local jail will no longer cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, making Austin the first true "sanctuary city" in the state.

A Friday announcement by newly-elected Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez that her office would reduce cooperation with federal immigration authorities will set up a showdown with Texas Republican leaders, especially Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

After GOP appeal, Texas Supreme Court agrees to take up same-sex marriage case

Couples embrace at the conclusion of the "Big Gay Wedding" ceremony on the south lawn of the Texas Capitol on July 4 after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in June.
Couples embrace at the conclusion of the "Big Gay Wedding" ceremony on the south lawn of the Texas Capitol on July 4 after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in June.

The Texas Supreme Court reversed course and agreed to take up a case involving benefits for married same-sex couples after Republican leaders urged the court to reconsider its earlier decision to let a lower court decision stand.

Border Patrol agent tied to smuggled money but not to slaying in day 3 of trial

Border Patrol agent Joel Luna (seated) and lead defense attorney Carlos Garcia on the first day of Luna's trial in the slaying of Franky Palacios on Jan. 17, 2017.
Border Patrol agent Joel Luna (seated) and lead defense attorney Carlos Garcia on the first day of Luna's trial in the slaying of Franky Palacios on Jan. 17, 2017.

Joel Luna, the Border Patrol agent on trial for capital murder in Brownsville, was linked to hundreds of thousands of dollars in smuggled money by the prosecution's star witness — Luna's older brother Eduardo.

Lawmakers likely to wage in-state tuition policy fight again this year

Former and current lawmakers gather at the Texas Capitol showing their support for HB 1403 which passed in 2001 ensuring that all Texas would have access to in-state college tuition regardless of immigration status.
Former and current lawmakers gather at the Texas Capitol showing their support for HB 1403 which passed in 2001 ensuring that all Texas would have access to in-state college tuition regardless of immigration status.

Will Texas legislators repeal in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants? One Republican lawmaker is determined to make it happen.

Sparring over evidence marks first day of Border Patrol agent's trial

Lead defense attorney Carlos Garcia assists defendant Joel Luna in putting on a tie prior to Luna's murder trial in Brownsville on January 17, 2017.
Lead defense attorney Carlos Garcia assists defendant Joel Luna in putting on a tie prior to Luna's murder trial in Brownsville on January 17, 2017.

A state judge ruled that a statement Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna voluntarily gave authorities can be used in his murder trial.  Sparring over evidence marked the first day of his trial in South Texas, in a case that has stoked concern about alleged law enforcement corruption on the U.S. side of the border.

Border Patrol agent's murder trial begins this week

Ex-Border Patrol agent Joel Luna confers with attorney Carlos Garcia after his arraignment in Brownsville before Judge Benjamin Euresti on Feb. 3, 2016.
Ex-Border Patrol agent Joel Luna confers with attorney Carlos Garcia after his arraignment in Brownsville before Judge Benjamin Euresti on Feb. 3, 2016.

The capital murder case began in 2015 with the discovery of a headless body floating off South Padre Island. The trial of two men charged in the case — a U.S. Border Patrol agent and his Mexican-born brother — begins today in South Texas.

Six years later, fight over anti-sanctuary cities bill has changed

Protesters hold signs reading "No Arizona Hate in Texas" — a reference to a recently passed law in that state — during a 2011 demonstration against "sanctuary city" legislation in Austin.
Protesters hold signs reading "No Arizona Hate in Texas" — a reference to a recently passed law in that state — during a 2011 demonstration against "sanctuary city" legislation in Austin.

Bills targeting "sanctuary cities" failed to pass the Texas Legislature in 2011 and 2015, but similar efforts this session have better chances of making it to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk.

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