This bill — the Keep Our Cities Safe Act — would indemnify (ie protect) state and local government employees from federal prosecution for complying with state or local sanctuary laws, which prevent the employees from enforcing federal immigration laws.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
- The house has not voted
House Committee on the JudiciaryImmigration and Border SecurityIntroducedJune 8th, 2018
- house Committees
What is it?
In-Depth: Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) introduced this bill to shield state and local government officials from federal prosecution for following local sanctuary policies and refusing to honor federal immigration law:
“Since President Trump took office, he has done nothing but bully and intimidate immigrant-friendly communities across the nation… Now, his administration wants to take things a step further and prosecute local officials for opposing Trump’s misguided, xenophobic policies. President Trump’s threats create a climate of fear that accomplishes the exact opposite of what he claims to want — making American cities safer. Local law enforcement cannot build the community relationships they rely on to do their jobs if they are also coerced to enforce President Trump’s anti-immigrant policies. My bill will let local officials and law enforcement continue to do what they know works best in their cities — without fear of being prosecuted for it by the Trump administration.”
Republicans in Congress have pushed for officials in sanctuary cities & states to be held accountable for obstructing enforcement of federal immigration law, with Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) offering a bill known as the SLAP Act to criminalize such obstruction:
“The American people are rightfully infuriated watching politicians put their open-borders ideology before the rule of law, and the safety of the people they represent. Politicians don’t get to pick and choose what laws to comply with. Americans are dying because politicians sworn to uphold the law refuse to do so. It’s time the federal government gets serious about enforcing immigration laws and holding politicians accountable who conspire to break them.”
This bill has nine cosponsors, all of whom are Democrats.
Of Note: The risk of the Trump administration pursuing legal action against local and state government employees is real. In January 2018, Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Kirsten Nielsen revealed that the Dept. of Justice was considering filing criminal charges against state and local officials for implementing sanctuary policies that prohibit cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
Prior to Secretary Nielsen’s comments, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Thomas Homan said that California would feel his agency’s wrath over its decision to become a sanctuary state. Homan also called for local and state elected officials to be charged with federal crimes for enacting and adhering to sanctuary policies.
Summary by Lorelei Yang(Photo Credit: _Runis_ / iStock)