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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
      House Committee on the Judiciary
      Immigration and Border Security
    IntroducedJune 8th, 2018

What is it?

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.

Impact

Local government employees; state government employees; sanctuary jurisdictions; and federal prosecutors.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate for this bill is unavailable.

More Information

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.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: _Runis_ / iStock)

AKA

Keep Our Cities Safe Act of 2018

Official Title

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to indemnify government employees, and employees entities that have contracts with such governments, from certain judgements for acting within their capacity to comply with their official duties and responsibilities, and other purposes.

    States have paramount rights of protecting their citizens and any immigrants within its borders. We are a federation of individual states. That’s what our founding fathers envisioned that’s what we still want. We are first and foremost governed by our locally voted on political servants. What is necessary for our country’s protection or more feasible economically should be handled by the federal government only. Trump believes only those who are white are the desired citizens. I know many highly intelligent and caring people that are more valuable as citizens who are not white and was born elsewhere. We need those people. Give these migrating people a chance because they are strong enough to make it here with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
    Like (165)
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    Violate the law and you’re violating the law.
    Like (93)
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    When an official says “California will feel my Agency’s WRATH” we have a serious issue with abuse of power. I agree with following the law that is until the Government is creating law that is overstepping and threatening to arrest and prosecute State. This is a disaster in the making.
    Like (91)
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    I think sanctuary cities are extremely important and vital in helping the less fortunate and people who are in danger into out country without having to face the danger to their lives of waiting for the legal process to let them in legally. I recognize that federal law surpasses state law, but I believe this is the will of the people and a form of resistance to an oppressive presidency. I think the federal government should recognize these states and cities willingness to take in these people and offer aid to those who are sick or hurt. Helping shouldn’t be a crime. These employees aren’t smuggling them in, just offering aid, which isn’t illegal.
    Like (67)
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    Why should illegal immigrants have more rights than US Citizens?
    Like (64)
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    In other words, should some areas be immune to federal law? I don’t think so. The federal government policy supersedes the states, why would we allow certain areas immunity from federal law? If we don’t like the federal law in place, just change that law.
    Like (56)
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    The federal government is alway talking about state rights and how important they!! State laws should be obeyed! Especially, if the federal government is run by a self servicing imbecile!!
    Like (47)
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    This issue transcends politics or even law. Not only States, but Individuals have a Moral Duty to uphold Human Decency. Bad laws have historically been made and have eventually been righted in this country. Separating children from their parents and criminalizing people seeking amnesty is morally an evil thing to do. For those with a religious affinity, what about the Golden Rule; “Do unto others as they would do unto you”. We as a Country need to nip this in the bud. There is no limit to where this immorality can go.
    Like (42)
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    Where do we draw the line as to which laws are enforced and which are not. This is not a question of morality, but a question of judicial integrity.
    Like (28)
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    Sometimes disobeying the law is a moral necessity. Sometimes obeying the law is an abomination to true justice. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,”
    Like (26)
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    Your job is to enforce the law and anything else would be subversive against the United States! This is BS
    Like (23)
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    That is illegal activity therefore NO.
    Like (18)
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    It’s called harboring a fugitive. And in many other crimes such as robbery if one person of a group kills another person in the commission of the robbery the other members can be charged as an accessory to the murder. Often this carries as stiff a penalty as the murderer’s does. The same should be done to government officials. First on the block should be governor Jerry Brown of California, charged as an access to thousands of felonies, robberies, assaults, rape, and murders.
    Like (14)
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    If they are not to be here to begin with why hire them? Also if the sanctuary city hires them and the department they work for the mayor the department head should be jailed. If said employee gave a false id and cannot be vetted send to Guantanamo along with the mayor department head and HR person for national security violations/treason. Potentially giving access to critical infrastructure.
    Like (12)
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    No if you break the law you go to jail! Just because you don’t like a law doesn’t mean you get to break it. If you don’t like it work to change it!
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    State and local governments have too many local priorities to address with usually insufficient budgets. Local officials are not required to enforce federal immigration policies, only requested - anything more would be federal overreach. If localities choose higher priorities to focus on than immigration, they shouldn’t be punished by other localities that prioritize immigration enforcement by acting through a tentative majority at the federal level.
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    It is not the state's job to enforce federal law. Sanctuary cities should not be forced to do the US governments job for them.
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    This is a moral/ethical issue. What is being done is immoral and does not support American values. It doesn't really matter if the States have the "right" or not to become protected as a Sanctuary State--it is the morally correct thing to do.
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    No way until Federal law changes it is supreme period.
    Like (8)
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    Criminals should be treated as criminals. If they can arbitrarily decide which laws they want to enforce or obey, then why can’t I? Why can’t everyone else? I think I will just observe any law that I want to and not the ones I don’t. Utterly ridiculous to even say the words much less put them into practice.
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