Texas Sues City Over Release of Illegal Aliens



San Antonio, the nation’s seventh largest metropolis, doesn’t declare itself a “sanctuary city,” but the release of a dozen illegal aliens earned it an $11.6 million lawsuit from the state of Texas.

Filing the first legal action under Texas’s SB 4 anti-sanctuary law, Attorney General Ken Paxton said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus “skirted” the state statute by ignoring Homeland Security’s requests to investigate the case.

“Chief McManus called a private entity to take the aliens away from Homeland Security and their status remains unknown,” Paxton said. “No city in Texas should put the safety of police officers and the public at risk by defying state law.”

The attorney general’s action comes nearly a year after San Antonio police officers found a tractor-trailer truck loaded with illegal aliens last Dec. 23. An agent from Homeland Security Investigations offered to assist police with interviews. But the agent was told “no” by the chief who said he did not want HSI to “scare people.”

McManus later asserted that his department had no jurisdiction to detain the migrants. But SAPD acknowledged it had received a $500,000 grant to train officers to identify and investigate human smuggling and trafficking.

Truck driver Herbert Alan Nichols, 58, of Houston, was arrested the day his rig and cargo were discovered, and preliminarily charged with human smuggling. But with all the potential witnesses in the wind, he, too, was released.

“We were not able to indict … because we didn’t have the evidence,” Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood said.

In addition to the $11.6 million in fines, the Attorney General’s Office seeks an injunction to stop San Antonio from enforcing policies “thwarting” federal immigration enforcement officials.

Mike Helle, president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, wants McManus placed on administrative leave immediately, standard departmental procedure for any officer accused of a violation of law.

“We said at the time that the chief’s actions violated state law. Now the whole U.S. is watching,” Helle said.

The Center for Immigration Studies lists hundreds of cities and counties as designated “sanctuary” jurisdictions. That San Antonio is not on that roster points to an even broader problem of non-compliance with U.S. immigration enforcement.

At least the state of Texas (which CIS shows as having no sanctuary cities) is on the case. Officials in San Antonio — home to an estimated 85,000 illegal aliens — must be held accountable for their duplicity … even if it is a year after the fact.

About Author

avatar

Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

8 Comments

  1. avatar

    CIS may not have any Texas cities listed as sanctuary cities. Maybe that’s because they don’t call themselves sanctuary cities, even though their policies are the same. Houston and Austin are two, but there may be others that I’m not aware of.

  2. avatar

    The officials & politicians not in favor of enforcing laws on he books should find a different line of work. Tax payers of fed up with getting the run around. They act all nicy nice 2 get our votes and getting in the good ol boys club with all the tax-payer fundedperks. The people r almost ready 2 revolt. Look at france!

  3. avatar

    When in rome do as rome does. Anyone inside oue borders should adhere 2 laws passed by duly elected reps in this country, once passed they r 2 b enforced. We pay good salaries 2 teps & the perks 2 boot. We dont want no-go zones like the uk. If this way prevails society breaks down. Thats why voters hate politicians making laws 4 the rest of us while exempting themselves. Enforce laws on the books. We dlnt need more laws. We need the officials we r paying 2 do their jobs, period. If the politicians dont like enforcing laws they get passed in order 2 get elected by the people, then take it 2 the people 2 get law changed.

  4. avatar

    the police of San Antonia need a very deep investigation and many fired and jailed for failure to perform their sworn duty. Too willing like this chief to be PC and not do their sworn duty. Jail is what they need,

  5. avatar

    The reason sanctuary jurisdictions should not be eligible for federal funds is that they actually cost the federal agencies like ICE large expenditures of money because of the manpower ICE must deploy to track down and take into custody the illegals that have been let loose on the streets, instead of simply taking them into custody at a jail. It also puts agents in danger because there is no telling whether the illegals might have obtained a weapon and intend to resist capture. Once again, the interests of foreigners here without permission come before the rights and safety of Americans.

  6. avatar

    Wait, the state is “suing” a local government that is incorporated under its own jurisdiction? Screw THAT! Why hasn’t the Lone Star State’s AG sent the Texas Rangers down there and placed the perps UNDER ARREST for aiding and abetting illegals? Until these scofflaws spend some time in the slammer, NOTHING will change.

    • avatar

      The officials & politicians not in favor of enforcing laws on he books should find a different line of work. Tax payers of fed up with getting the run around. They act all nicy nice 2 get our votes and getting in the good ol boys club with all the tax-payer fundedperks. The people r almost ready 2 revolt. Look at france!

Leave A Reply