Lt. Governor: Texas ‘Not Going to Mess Around’ with the Law

Travis County sheriff blasted for refusal to hand illegal immigrant sex offender over to ICE

Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick (R) blasted Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez for almost releasing a criminal alien charged with sexually assaulting a young girl because “it didn’t meet her criteria” for detaining illegal immigrants during an interview Wednesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

Hugo Javier Gallardo-Gonzalez, 31, had been charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting his girlfriend’s daughter for over a year. Nevertheless, Hernandez initially was reluctant to comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials’ order to detain Gallardo-Gonzalez, according to reports that surfaced this week. And Patrick issued a warning for Hernandez: “Don’t mess with Texas.”

“The point is, you don’t have a criterion if you’re in law enforcement. You follow federal law. When ICE says hold someone, you don’t say, ‘Well let me check and see if this person fits my list.'”

“This sheriff in Travis County — she’s an outrage. And under her list, bank robbers could even get out,” Patrick told Ingraham. “And let me tell you — we’re not going to mess around with this, Laura.”

Although Hernandez eventually complied with ICE and Gallardo-Gonzalez remains in custody, Patrick said that the sheriff’s initial unwillingness to comply was unacceptable.

“We had a sheriff just yesterday … in Travis County where Austin is who was ready to let someone go who ICE had asked to detain her on because this person didn’t meet her criteria, the new sheriff, who’s not a law enforcement officer, just a leftist socialist ideologue,” Patrick said. “And this person that they finally decided to hold at the last minute had sexually assaulted young girls multiple times.”

“[Hernandez] was ready to let that person go because it didn’t meet her criteria. Now, she found out that it was a more serious crime,” Patrick added. “The point is, you don’t have a criterion if you’re in law enforcement. You follow federal law. When ICE says hold someone, you don’t say, ‘Well let me check and see if this person fits my list.'”

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The state of Texas is also pushing a new sanctuary city policy bill that Patrick said would “take state funding away” and subject Texas officials to “civil lawsuits and criminal penalties” if they “do not follow federal law.”

“We have 254 sheriffs in Texas, one for each country. [Hernandez] is the one who is the outlier,” Patrick told LifeZette. “She refuses to keep criminals behind bars. She refuses to hold criminals that ICE asked a detainer on.”

Ingraham and the Texas lieutenant governor also lambasted the mainstream media and immigrant activists who decried ICE’s string of raids last week across several states that resulted in hundreds of arrests and targeted criminal illegal aliens. Throughout the raids, a few non-criminal illegal immigrants were also apprehended.

“One Dreamer gets picked up, and ‘Oh, a Dreamer got picked up!'” Ingraham said of the Left’s outcry.

Patrick added, “if you have any police raid in any neighborhood, there’s always going to be someone” who gets picked up who isn’t the priority target.

According to Patrick, the Left’s outcry over those few non-criminal illegal immigrants detained flies in the face of ICE’s work to arrest those dangerous criminals.

“But listen to these [Department of Homeland Security] crime statistics, Laura. Since June of 2011, just in Texas through January, in Texas we have booked into our jails 212,000 criminal aliens and we have charged them with 566,000 crimes, including 1,143 murders, 6,001 sexual assaults, 67,513 assaults, 67,212 drug charges, over 8,000 gun charges,” Patrick said. “I mean, this is just Texas, five and a half years.”

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“[Hernandez is] picking and choosing which criminals she decides to hold, which makes it ver dangerous for Texas and for Austin in particular, where Travis County is,” Patrick told LifeZette.”They’re putting American citizens’ lives at risk for no reason. And so they’re going to be held accountable in Texas.”

Patrick also praised President Donald Trump for following through on his campaign promises to crack down on illegal immigration and promote border security and law enforcement efforts.

“Trump’s doing everything he said he was going to do. And he’s learning that, you know, he needs a little bit more follow-up, a little bit more preparation before he does it, like the ban,” Patrick said of the bumpy roll-out of Trump’s travel ban executive order.

“Trump just needs to keep focused and keep going down the path of doing the things he said he would do, and the people will be with him,” Patrick said. “We’re seeing the Left exposed like we all knew they were. They really want to tear down the country. They are willing to do anything to do it, including tearing down this president.”

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PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected].