WASHINGTON — House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer says that the over 200 sanctuary cities like Baltimore and San Francisco should be informing federal authorities when local law enforcement arrest felons like the illegal immigrant who allegedly shot and killed 32-year-old Kate Steinle in San Francisco last week.
When asked by The Daily Caller if federal funds should be withheld to such cities who refuse to comply with federal law and do not report felons to federal authorities that are arrested by local police departments, Hoyer replied, “Without getting into specifics as to the action we ought to take, my feeling is that clearly, we have all made clear we need comprehensive immigration reform. Having said that, people who commit crimes and in this case, felonies as I understand it, need to be excluded and removed from our country.”
“Living in America is a privilege. Coming to America is a privilege and those who come to America and commit crimes — serious crimes under the comprehensive immigration reform passed by the Senate and every other common sense view of immigration reform, in my opinion, includes assuring that we will remove [them] from the country from wherever they may be located — people who commit serious felonies in our country, particularly multiple felonies — as was the case here,” Hoyer said.
When asked if cities that are safe havens to illegal immigrants should inform federal authorities when they have such an individual, Hoyer responded, “In my view, yes.”
Four years ago an illegal immigrant from Ecuador raped a 9-year old girl in Baltimore, and the city’s mayor, Stephanie Rawlings Blake, signed an order one-year later banning police and social agencies from asking any person about their immigration status.
Republican House leadership has in recent years not acted on legislation that went after sanctuary cities either. Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Lou Barletta proposed in July of 2011 a bill that would prohibit federal money to any city that did not comply with federal immigration law. The legislation went as far as the Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement and died in committee.
The mayor’s order also barred city funds, resources or staff from investigating anyone suspected of violating federal immigration law.