Sheriff Sally Hernandez speaks during the Oath of Office Ceremony at the Travis County Commissioners court on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Sheriff Sally Hernandez speaks during the Oath of Office Ceremony at the Travis County Commissioners court on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

By Edwin Rios, Mother Jones

In the Democratic hotbed of Austin, Texas, newly elected Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez announced last Friday that her department would join hundreds of counties around the country in reducing its cooperation with federal immigration officials. Unless presented with a warrant or court order, the sheriff's department would no longer comply with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests to hold inmates suspected of being undocumented or notify the agency ahead of their release.

Hernandez's decision, which goes into effect February 1 and makes the county Texas' first designated sanctuary, has prompted considerable backlash from Texas Republicans. And now, perhaps inspired by President Donald Trump's threats to strip federal funding from "sanctuary jurisdictions," Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has demanded that Hernandez reverse course—or risk millions of dollars in state funding.