In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) also introduced this legislation during the last session of Congress in order to punish sanctuary cities
for preventing their law enforcement officers from cooperating with federal immigration officials, saying at the time:
"It is past time to act. This Friday will mark one year since Kate Steinle was gunned down by a repeat felon who was in the country illegally, and she died in her father's arms. I cannot imagine the pain that Kate's father must feel. Sadly, the Steinle family is not alone. The Obama administration has confirmed that sanctuary cities result in thousands of criminals being put back on the streets."
A Rasmussen poll released on July 10, 2015 found that 62 percent of Americans believe the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) should take legal action against sanctuary cities, while 58 percent believe federal funding should be cut off to those cities.
Of Note: Sanctuary cities in particular have long been controversial and grew in popularity during the 2000s — reaching a total of more than 200 cities or states with variations of the policy.
They re-emerged in the news cycle in July 2015 in San Francisco after Kate Steinle's murder. San Francisco has been a sanctuary city since 1989, when an ordinance preventing local authorities from assisting federal immigration enforcement was passed. Learn more about the incident, the politics of the situation, and how immigration cases have been handled in San Francisco here.
The federal government has also expressed frustration with the sanctuary cities, as ICE officials are put in greater danger by having to apprehend the undocumented immigrants at their home than if they had been able to pick them up at the jail. Recently the agency has begun tracking the number of “detainer” requests they have sent to local authorities about immigrants they’ve arrest which are subsequently refused, and the subject of the request allowed to go free.
However, the Director of ICE has expressed skepticism that forcing sanctuary cities or states to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement would be helpful, calling it a “highly counterproductive step” that would “lead to more resistance and less cooperation.”Media
:Summary by Eric Revell
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