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house Bill H.R. 2988

Should Sanctuary Cities Not Receive Federal Law Enforcement Grants if They Don’t Assist Federal Immigration Enforcement?

Argument in favor

Sanctuary cities are actively subverting the federal government’s efforts to enforce immigration law and jeopardize public safety by allowing criminals who are in the country illegally to go free despite federal detainer requests. As long as sanctuary cities refuse to help federal immigration enforcement efforts, they shouldn’t get federal law enforcement grants.

Gopin2020's Opinion
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09/15/2019
I strongly recommend and support this legislation. Sanctuary cities and states should not receive one cent of our tax dollars for this lawless and unconstitutional position of theirs. The DOJ should move to indict and prosecute those who support this criminal behavior. #MAGA
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SneakyPete's Opinion
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09/15/2019
Deny Federal Funds To Sanctuary Cites Who Refuse Helping Fed Agents Sanctuary cities are actively subverting the federal government’s efforts to enforce immigration law and jeopardize public safety by allowing criminals who are in the country illegally to go free despite federal detainer requests. As long as sanctuary cities refuse to help federal immigration enforcement efforts, they shouldn’t get federal law enforcement grants. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 9.17.19.....
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Chris's Opinion
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09/15/2019
One Reason: Shooting of Kate Steinle. On July 1, 2015, 32-year-old Kate Steinle, while walking with her father and a friend along Pier 14 in the Embarcadero district of San Francisco, was shot by José Inez García Zárate, who claimed a gun had fired accidentally while he was picking it up. Deported NUMEROUS TIMES; yet San Francisco did nothing to protect its own citizens; there was Probably a Warrant issued for this Man to be Deported AGAIN..but like Every other sanctuary city they ignored it; so the blood of her death is on every citizen who votes these policies & the people whom are in charge of implementing them; and if ALL you See is Race in this then YOU are the Racist and NOT Me. If this Statement is cruel; or Harsh then IMAGINE how Kates Father felt knowing that just Justice System failed HIM!! HIM!! An American CITIZEN & choose an Illegal immigrant over his DaughterJUST to keep in Power; So YES...I blame EACH AND EVERY SINGLE PERSON who voted too these people & Policies in place. This is NOT ABOUT RACE...this is about Justice and Sovereignty and if ALL you see is Race in EVERYTHING...then YOU are the Racist. #TRUMP2020
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Argument opposed

It may not be constitutional for Congress to enact this bill, as the Supreme Court has previously found it unconstitutional for Congress to withhold federal funding from states and localities in retaliation for their refusal to implement a federal program. The constitutionality of DHS detainers is questionable, too — so that part of this bill may also be unimplementable.

burrkitty's Opinion
···
09/15/2019
The courts already ruled this unconstitutional. End of story.
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jimK's Opinion
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09/15/2019
This proposed legislation is bullshit political doublespeak -just to justify the ongoing war on immigrants of color. If anyone cares to remember, this all started with trump being called out by FOX shock-jock pundits for not delivering on his "Wall", and the justifications for the wall being that it was needed to stop the massive influx of terrorists, drug lords, cartel enforcers, human traffickers, and crazed gang members. The only ’evil’ immigrants found so far have been those actual criminals that were previously deported by Obama. The only 'captured' immigrants so far have been asylum seekers. The only trump deportations so far have been taxpaying hard working immigrants, many of whom have peacefully lived and worked here for years. So, representative numb-nuts: “where’s the beef”. You claim this is to protect citizens from what is still an unsubstantiated claim that they need protection. You propose legislation that has already been ruled unlawful. You and your ilk are part of the cancer eating away at our democracy. Luckily, an enlightened electorate will be able to treat this disease and flush you out of office, and back into the sewer from whence you came.
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Loretta's Opinion
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09/15/2019
Just leave Sanctuary Cities alone. Ice has now turned into the Gestapo under this Administration! Bring our Democracy Back 2020...DUMP TRUMP
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Immigration and Citizenship
    IntroducedMay 23rd, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 2988?

This bill — the Protecting American Lives Act — would prohibit federal funds law enforcement being sent to sanctuary cities. It’d also mandate two to five-year minimum sentences for unauthorized immigrants caught reentering the U.S. and require local jurisdictions to share information on unauthorized immigrants in their databases. Additionally, this bill would require state and local jurisdictions to comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers, provide protections for law enforcement officers that comply with an ICE detainer in case they’re later used by an unauthorized immigrant, and make it illegal for a state or local government to fire or discriminate against a law enforcement officer for following federal law.

A “sanctuary city” is defined as a city, locality or state that has policies designed to protect and shelter unauthorized immigrants, including those that committed additional crimes after entering the U.S. A “detainer” is a document by which ICE informs another law enforcement agency of its interest in an unauthorized immigrant and tells a local law enforcement agency to hold the unauthorized immigrant until ICE can take custody and ultimately deport the unauthorized immigrant.

Impact

Sanctuary cities; federal law enforcement funding for sanctuary cities; unauthorized immigrants in sanctuary cities; minimum sentencing requirements for unauthorized immigrants caught reentering the U.S.; information-sharing about unauthorized immigrants between local jurisdictions; ICE; and ICE detainers.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2988

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) introduced this bill to defund sanctuary cities

“Sanctuary cities operate in blatant disregard toward the rule of law at the peril of law-abiding residents and citizens. With every violent crime committed by an undocumented immigrant, we are reminded of the importance of enforcing the law. If liberal local and state officials wish to have a nation without borders and laws, they will have to learn to live without federal funding for their harmful policies. Sanctuary cities encourage thousands of migrants to cross the border illegally. Places like San Francisco and Austin send the message that there’s no need to follow the official process and obtain legal status. As a border state, we feel the impact of illegal immigration first and worst. Cities that choose to violate federal immigration policy should consider the ramifications of their misguided policies.”

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) supports this bill. Matthew Tragesser, a Communications Specialist at the organization, says

“Sanctuary jurisdictions threaten public safety and disregard the rule of law. This important legislation would ensure that localities do not adopt these dangerous policies while still receiving financial and material support from the Department of Homeland Security. Further, protecting cooperative jurisdictions from frivolous civil action is an important step in encouraging state and local law enforcement to honor detainer notices from federal immigration authorities.”

The Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia (HBA-DC), along with a broad coalition of state and local governments, law enforcement, advocacy and religious organizations expressed opposition to a similar bill, the Stop Sanctuary Cities Act (S.1814), in 2015. In their letter, the coalition argued that withholding federal law enforcement funding from sanctuary cities seeks to “penalize municipalities that exercise local police discretion limiting inquiries into the citizenship or immigration status of local residents in order to build trust in the community and promote local public safety goals.” They wrote:  

“To characterize these municipalities as ‘sanctuary’ zones is misleading. These cities have exercised their traditional local police powers by recognizing that immigrant victims and witnesses will not report crime, and crimes will go unsolved and unpunished, if immigrants fear that local police are acting as immigration agents. Moreover, state and local governments would do well to distance themselves from bills… forc[ing] jurisdictions to join in immigration enforcement schemes that courts have already declared constitutionally deficient and that compound the problem by instituting senseless mandatory sentencing. While the purported intent of [such bills] is to make America’s communities more secure… [they] will have the opposite effect.”

The coalition argued that taking federal funding away from sanctuary cities would “virtually dismantle long-standing policies that promote equitable policing and safeguard against the diversion of police resources away from their core mission of protecting public safety” and “perpetuate the entanglement of local police in immigration enforcement… embroiling local police in federal immigration enforcement will erode the trust and cooperation between local law enforcement and the immigrant community and result in damage to public safety.” 

Finally, the coalition questioned the legality of bills supporting DHS detainers. Citing federal courts’ rulings that DHS detainers don’t comply with the Fourth Amendment due to their lack of reliance on probable cause or a warrant, the coalition argued that bills requiring compliance with DHS detainers put state and municipal governments in the position of making the “impossible choice of either violating the Constitution or losing vital federal law enforcement funding that helps them fight crime.”

This bill has 19 Republican cosponsors and has not yet received a committee vote. It has the support of Heritage Action for America, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and NumbersUSA Action.

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) has introduced another bill taking federal funding from sanctuary cities, the No Federal Funding to Benefit Sanctuary Cities Act (H.R. 1885). Rep. Rooney’s bill has one cosponsor, Rep. Ron Wright (R-TX) and has yet to receive a committee vote.


Of NoteAmerica’s Voice, a liberal immigration reform group, argues that “scary things can happen when immigrants become afraid of the police.” It cites the example of Houston, where the police chief noted that the number of Hispanics reporting rape had decreased 42.8% from 2016 to 2017 and the number reporting other violent crimes had dropped 13%, despite crimes reported by non-Hispanics increasing over the same period (Houston has resisted a Texas law precluding it from operating as a sanctuary city). Similarly, in March 2017, the Los Angeles Police Department reported decreased sexual assault reports due to “a climate of fear in immigrant communities” and NPR reported that fear of deportation had caused four women to drop domestic abuse cases in Denver (Los Angeles and Denver are both sanctuary cities). With this in mind, many law enforcement officers, including the Fraternal Order of Police, a membership organization that endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 election, have endorsed backing off on the idea of punishing cities or their police departments for immigrant-friendly sanctuary policies.

In its 2012 decision in the Obamacare case National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court found that Congress couldn’t constitutionally take away all Medicaid funding from states if they didn’t expand Medicaid coverage. In its ruling, the Court wrote, “Permitting the Federal Government to force the States to implement a federal program would threaten the political accountability key to our federal system.” Arguably, the same principle may apply in this case.

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a crackdown on sanctuary cities a centerpiece of his time at the Justice Dept., where he said sanctuary cities are safe harbors for violent international cartels. In a 2017 speech, Sessions said sanctuary cities put “innocent life, including the lives of countless law-abiding immigrants, in danger.”

Indeed, there have been cases of U.S. citizens and residents being physically hurt — and even killed — by unauthorized immigrants. For example, Alexander Mazin, 27, was shot and killed in a San Diego parking lot in February 2018. The suspected shooter, Ernesto Castellanos Martinez, was reported to be the ex-boyfriend of the women Mazin had recently started dating and a twice-deported unauthorized immigrant. After killing Mazin, he fled to Mexico. 

In another case in Houston in 2015, Spencer Golvach was shot and killed by an unauthorized immigrant at a traffic light. His mother, Julie Golvach, said in a  January 2019 on "Fox & Friends" that the unauthorized immigrant crisis only seems "manufactured" to Democratic leadership because "they are sitting safely behind walls." She said that "for those of us out in regular America, we are victims, we are prone to the victimization of illegal aliens and crime."


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / RonBailey)

AKA

Protecting American Lives Act

Official Title

To ensure State and local compliance with all Federal immigration detainers on aliens in custody, and for other purposes.

    I strongly recommend and support this legislation. Sanctuary cities and states should not receive one cent of our tax dollars for this lawless and unconstitutional position of theirs. The DOJ should move to indict and prosecute those who support this criminal behavior. #MAGA
    Like (78)
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    The courts already ruled this unconstitutional. End of story.
    Like (166)
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    This proposed legislation is bullshit political doublespeak -just to justify the ongoing war on immigrants of color. If anyone cares to remember, this all started with trump being called out by FOX shock-jock pundits for not delivering on his "Wall", and the justifications for the wall being that it was needed to stop the massive influx of terrorists, drug lords, cartel enforcers, human traffickers, and crazed gang members. The only ’evil’ immigrants found so far have been those actual criminals that were previously deported by Obama. The only 'captured' immigrants so far have been asylum seekers. The only trump deportations so far have been taxpaying hard working immigrants, many of whom have peacefully lived and worked here for years. So, representative numb-nuts: “where’s the beef”. You claim this is to protect citizens from what is still an unsubstantiated claim that they need protection. You propose legislation that has already been ruled unlawful. You and your ilk are part of the cancer eating away at our democracy. Luckily, an enlightened electorate will be able to treat this disease and flush you out of office, and back into the sewer from whence you came.
    Like (127)
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    Just leave Sanctuary Cities alone. Ice has now turned into the Gestapo under this Administration! Bring our Democracy Back 2020...DUMP TRUMP
    Like (80)
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    No arm of the Federal government has any right to ask any lower level of government to violate the law in the service of the Federal governments jobs. That is what most of these requests are. It is also unconstitutional to require local law enforcement to take action on Federal issues where there is no court order. Even WITH a court order, there is normally reimbursement from the Federal Government for local officers assisting in Federal issues. Now you want to punish the state for acting correctly under the law and within the constraints of the constitution! Just NO already!
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    Deny Federal Funds To Sanctuary Cites Who Refuse Helping Fed Agents Sanctuary cities are actively subverting the federal government’s efforts to enforce immigration law and jeopardize public safety by allowing criminals who are in the country illegally to go free despite federal detainer requests. As long as sanctuary cities refuse to help federal immigration enforcement efforts, they shouldn’t get federal law enforcement grants. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 9.17.19.....
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    Just stop with all this immigration hate.
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    One Reason: Shooting of Kate Steinle. On July 1, 2015, 32-year-old Kate Steinle, while walking with her father and a friend along Pier 14 in the Embarcadero district of San Francisco, was shot by José Inez García Zárate, who claimed a gun had fired accidentally while he was picking it up. Deported NUMEROUS TIMES; yet San Francisco did nothing to protect its own citizens; there was Probably a Warrant issued for this Man to be Deported AGAIN..but like Every other sanctuary city they ignored it; so the blood of her death is on every citizen who votes these policies & the people whom are in charge of implementing them; and if ALL you See is Race in this then YOU are the Racist and NOT Me. If this Statement is cruel; or Harsh then IMAGINE how Kates Father felt knowing that just Justice System failed HIM!! HIM!! An American CITIZEN & choose an Illegal immigrant over his DaughterJUST to keep in Power; So YES...I blame EACH AND EVERY SINGLE PERSON who voted too these people & Policies in place. This is NOT ABOUT RACE...this is about Justice and Sovereignty and if ALL you see is Race in EVERYTHING...then YOU are the Racist. #TRUMP2020
    Like (32)
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    Beautiful articulate statement by jimK Appropriately outraged by the hateful bullshit of Trump and his administration. Keep educating us jimK. And thank you for your insights!
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    Bill H.R. 2988 is clearly unconstitutional and should not even be voted on. Cities should not be responsible for doing those lazy federal detainers' jobs for them.
    Like (26)
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    It’s like the republicans have been possessed. No real republican would ever give states rights to the federal government. And for another thing, this is anti-American, plain and simple. No.
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    Funny how Republicans talked all the time about states’ rights and local control when we had a Democratic President and now they become the biggest supporters of federal power when their racist scum President sits in the White House. This kind of law has already been declared unconstitutional and you only make immigrants distrustful of their own local police when you force local law enforcement to assist immigration authorities.
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    Most definitely! There have to be some kind of repercussion/consequence to those who choose to subvert the law of the land!!! Personally I think jail time and stripped of their political positions would be in order as well!!!
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    Very well said, Matthew! When will the Repugnants put forth a bill that actually helps people or wasn’t just more bull? Haven’t seen one of those in a very long time.
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    No money for sanctuary cities who are willingly breaking immigration laws and keeping ICE from doing their jobs.
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    This is unconstitutional, and it makes me so sad that people really believe immigrants are a danger to us. It’s pure manipulation to keep brown people out of this country. Quick history reminder, we caused the violence in Central America that is pushing people into our country, most of which as refugees. It’s our NRA gun lobby that puts guns in the hands of criminals and it’s our racism and othering mentality that creates conflict between immigrants and people born here. Stop trying to hurt people who are already at their most vulnerable and stop trying to make America “white” again, it never was and it will never be.
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    Constitutional Authority!
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    Laws are laws and should be followed, prosecuted or changed. I’d prefer local officials be prosecuted, but withholding federal funds is a good start.
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    This is an unconstitutional bill. The Supreme Court has already found its illegal to withhold federal funds from any entity that is supposed to receive. So the bill is ILLEGAL.
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    Again you miss the point. If Congress did it’s job, WE WOULD NOT NEED SANCTUARY CITIES. Fix the immigration laws you created or move aside for new leadership capable of cleaning up your mess.
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