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Travis County raised nearly $90,000 as of Monday afternoon through an online initiative set up after Gov. Greg Abbott cut $1.5 million in grant funding over the sheriff’s new immigration policy. State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) launched the fundraising site Friday in partnership with the Austin Community Foundation.
“It was really quite spontaneous and much appreciated by me and I know all the other public servants at the county who are concerned about these programs,” Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said.
The $90,000 is only a fraction of the money needed to fund the affected programs through August 31, 2017 – when most of these grant periods are set to end. The long-term future of these grants is even murkier.
A recent change to the grant application process requires any jurisdiction that detains people after a criminal arrest to have the local sheriff certify that he or she honors all ICE detainer requests. Barring a change in Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s policy, Travis County would have to skip this part of the application.