Several Senate Republicans are joining together to introduce a bill that would end funding for cities that fail to share information on illegal aliens with the federal government.
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson introduced a bill Thursday that would end funding for so-called sanctuary cities, joined by presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. The measure would withhold all Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice grants to cities that restrict information-sharing with DHS and to those which refuse to honor detainers from DHS, according to an immigration subcommittee aide.
Even more importantly, the bill would create an affirmative obligation for cities to share information about any aliens in police custody, which doesn’t currently exist under federal law. It would also create a five-year mandatory minimum sentence in federal prison for illegal aliens that have previously been deported who try to re-enter illegally again. (RELATED: Poll: Voters Want Sanctuary Cities Punished For Not Upholding Immigration Laws)
“There is no delicate balancing act here: we need to remove potentially violent offenders before they hurt innocent families — before the irreversible occurs,” Sessions said in a statement. “Foreign nationals cycling in and out of prisons and jails are by definition a high-risk population. Releasing ‘low-level’ criminal aliens from jails ensures only one thing: more opportunities for innocent Americans to get hurt — and more mothers burying more children.”
In the wake of the murder of Kate Steinle, a 32-year-old woman who was allegedly gunned down by illegal alien Francisco Sanchez in San Francisco earlier this month, the idea of “sanctuary cities” that don’t comply with federal immigration policy has received a lot of heat. (VIDEO: Illegal Alien Murderer Says He Chose San Francisco For Its ‘Sanctuary City Policies)
So-called sanctuary city laws prohibit local law enforcement from helping federal immigration agencies in investigations. In Sanchez’s case, the San Francisco sheriff’s department did not honor a detainer request issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. While ICE asked city law enforcement to notify the agency before it released Sanchez, who had been arrested on drug charges, it opted to drop the charges and released him into San Francisco in March, without any notification at all.
“It doesn’t make any sense that an illegal immigrant who has been deported five times and has seven felony convictions was released into a community to kill an innocent young woman,” Johnson said in a statement. “This legislation, which I am pleased to introduce with Senator Sessions, will safeguard against further tragedies by ensuring that sanctuary jurisdictions are no longer allowed or motivated to release criminal aliens into the public sphere.” (RELATED: Sanctuary Cities In Crosshairs Of Capitol Hill Lawmakers)
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