White House: Anti-Sanctuary City Law Would Impede Efforts To ‘Enforce The Nation’s Immigration Laws’

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Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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The Obama administration Wednesday came out strongly against a law that would cut federal funding for cities that refuse to comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers for illegal aliens.

The bill, Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act, would cut funding for sanctuary cities and make local and state law enforcement officials members of the Department of Homeland Security for purposes of carrying out immigration detainers.

“S. 3100 would also jeopardize the ability of State and local governments to receive Federal funding that is critical to their efforts to grow and revitalize their communities.  For some jurisdictions, it would deny funding for cities to implement a wide range of community development, infrastructure, and housing activities and provide vital public services, including meals to the elderly and affordable child care for low-income, working families,” the White House Office of Management and Budget said.

“The bill also would deem State and local law enforcement officials to act as the agents of Federal immigration law enforcement—and to have the authority of Federal immigration law enforcement officials — in certain circumstances.  The Administration believes that these provisions would lead to mistrust between communities and State and local law enforcement agencies; undermine the ability of law enforcement to keep communities safe across the country; and impede our efforts to safely, fairly, and effectively enforce the Nation’s immigration laws.”

Sanctuary cities came under fire after the murder of Kate Steinle by an illegal alien in San Francisco last July. The shooter, Francisco Sanchez, was released by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office in the months before the shooting despite an ICE detainer. This was due to San Francisco’s policy of protecting illegal aliens from deportation, and there are over 300 cities with similar sanctuary city policies.

The White House also Wednesday said they strongly opposed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s “Kate’s Law.” The bill would “[amend] the Immigration and Nationality Act to increase from two years to five years the maximum prison term for an alien who reenters after being denied admission, excluded, deported, or removed.” Sanchez was previously deported five times.

The White House OMB said, “The bill fails to offer the comprehensive reforms needed to fix the Nation’s broken immigration laws and would impose severe and unprecedented mandatory minimum sentences that would undermine the discretion of Federal judges to make sure the punishment fits the crime in each case.”