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Weekly Updates from Attorney General Ken Paxton: December 9, 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016 – Austin


The season has finally turned a corner. Temperatures have dropped, the Capitol Christmas trees are decorated, and I find my thoughts drawn to that which I cherish the most: family. I entered public service because I recognized that my wife and children and all Texas families would only live to their full potential if our elected officials worked tirelessly to keep Texas safe, prosperous, and free. I decided to run for attorney general because I recognized that one of the greatest threats to that dream—the dream of every loving Texan—was lawlessness.

Family, to put it mildly, represents my political compass’ due north. It guides every decision. It inspires every action.

Sanctuary Cities

It is for the love of family that I have taken such a strong stance against sanctuary cities. Recently, I wrote an op-ed, published on Breitbart Texas, wherein I chided the incoming Travis County sheriff for her reckless and lawless promise of refusing to cooperate with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). I explained that the deportation standards enforced by ICE originated in the Obama administration. They emphasize deportation only in cases where undocumented immigrants committed violent and heinous crimes.

Should the sheriff-elect therefore prove true to her word, her decision to make Austin the state’s first sanctuary city would endanger public safety by ensuring that dangerous men and women remain in our communities. Undocumented families would not benefit but rather the criminals would—the ones who prey on citizens and immigrants alike. For all their talk about keeping families together, sanctuary city activists fail to consider the families of these criminals’ victims. These families will be forever shattered. I will do everything in my power to keep another Texan from feeling that level of pain.  

Consumer Protection

The love of family also drives my office’s efforts to protect consumers from unscrupulous business practices that put them and their loved ones’ safety at risk. Just this week, attorneys in my office reached a $19.5 million multi-state settlement with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) for their repeated violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Since 2002, BMS marketed their drug Abilify for uses not yet approved by the FDA. It thereby mislead customers into believing that the drug had gone through more testing that it had before being prescribed.

As I said earlier this week, the integrity of our healthcare system depends on patients and doctors being able to trust the representations made by pharmaceutical companies. Without that trust, we cannot make informed decisions. Family caretakers bear the risk of making the wrong call, and all are exposed to the risk of being left bereft should their loved one’s health take a turn for the worse.

Learn more about my stance on sanctuary cities and my office’s consumer protection work by clicking on the hyperlinks above.

Holiday Drive

Finally, it is love of family that has lit a fire of charitable giving among the good men and women who make up the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). In the spirit of the season, my office has initiated a Holiday Drive aimed at benefiting two deserving organizations: Magdalena House and SafePlace. Both groups serve survivors of domestic violence. Already, the generosity of OAG staff has been moving, and we anticipate delivering a large cache of toys, winter apparel, and living supplies to the women and children in need. My office understands that legal vindication is not always enough to overcome the ravages of an abusive home life. This year’s Holiday Drive represents at least one avenue through which OAG staff can take that extra step and personally aid these determined Texans in their fresh start.

You can donate to the OAG Holiday Drive by dropping off the requested items at the William P. Clements Building, 300 West 15th Street, Austin, TX 78701. The list of requested items can be found in the hyperlink above.

Very Truly Yours,

Ken Paxton signature

Ken Paxton