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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Senate Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 10th, 2017

What is it?

This bill aims to hold sanctuary cities and jurisdictions accountable for defying federal immigration laws. It would increase penalties for those who illegally re-enter the U.S. after being deported.

Sanctuary jurisdictions are defined as states or localities that prohibit law enforcement officers from cooperating with federal immigration officials — even if they wish to do so. Under this bill, the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) would create a list of jurisdictions that meet this definition and make it publicly available.

Federal grant funding for law enforcement would be withheld from sanctuary jurisdictions, and made available to other states and localities that allow their law enforcement officers to cooperate with federal immigration officials.

Local law enforcement would explicitly have the legal authority to cooperate with federal immigration officials if they so choose — even in sanctuary jurisdictions. 

This legislation was introduced in conjunction with Kate's Law, which is named for Kate Steinle, a woman who was murdered in a sanctuary city by an unauthorized immigrant who had been deported five times and had seven felony convictions. 

Impact

People who live in sanctuary jurisdictions, law enforcement agencies currently receiving federal funds in those states and localities, the Dept. of Justice, and the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

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
(Photo Credit: By U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Department of Homeland Security) - http://www.ice.gov/news/galleries/index.htm#tab_stories, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20745328)

AKA

Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act

Official Title

A bill to ensure that State and local law enforcement may cooperate with Federal officials to protect our communities from violent criminals and suspected terrorists who are illegally present in the United States.

    The problem isn't immigration it's illegal immigration PERIOD!
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    Immigrants have always been the backbone of our economy. Unless we are willing to see food prices soar and video of thousands of families being rounded up and herded we can't let this happen. The children of these families are American and know the US as their only home.
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    We are a nation of immigrants. Period. We need to end the cycle of oppressing and rejecting each new wave of immigration, as had been the case for 200+ years.
    Like (1694)
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    City's like Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc. are vital economic engines that provide high-paying jobs and, in turn, collect plenty of revenue for Federal tax coffers. Local police, firefighters, etc. in these locales ABSOLUTELY MUST be trusted by ALL the people in their communities if they are to effectively solve and prevent crimes. The reason officials in these places won't "Turn in" so called "illegals" is that doing so would cause important crimes solving leads to "dry up" and create secretive, underground clusters of people living outside the law. As things stand now, law enforcement officials in these areas leverage EVERYONE in the community, regardless of their immigration status. In return, so called "illegals" can aid law enforcement without fear of recrimination. So everyone wins. (Oh... and YES these "illegals" buy goods & services, pay taxes, and generally contribute to the economies of these areas.)
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    It's essential that all people feel safe in our cities and that we never turn neighbors against each other. Sanctuary cities protect all people, the economy and peaceful coexistence. This nation was built on the contribution of immigrants, and we continue to benefit from their motivations to build a better life and stronger communities. Immigration is good for our economy and good for our cities. Immigrants must know that cities and law enforcement will not turn against them.
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    No person is illegal.
    Like (450)
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    As someone living in a sanctuary city, working in the field of international education and immigration, I appreciate the amount of access a sanctuary city affords undocumented immigrants. These people deserve the right to attend school, work, and start lives in the US and by removing funding, undocumented immigrants would live in constant fear. I am proud to be from a sanctuary city. And I would hate to see that status or those protections change.
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    The current administrations stance on immigration is unconstitutional and un-American.
    Like (335)
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    Sanctuary cities encourage illegal immigration and endanger public safety — they don't deserve federal funding. Plus, mandatory minimums will help deter more illegal immigration.
    Like (259)
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    Local government must provide the resources, the police, and understands their own communities needs best. Attempts to punish cities for self-governance is the height of Big Government overreach.
    Like (233)
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    Sanctuary cities treat undocumented people with the dignity they deserve as human beings. They should not be punished for doing so.
    Like (215)
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    Not only should federal funding be withheld, legal action should also be taken. They are not only endangering the public, but are breaking the law.
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    Sanctuary cities, and universities, uphold the values of the majority of the American people. We protect the vulnerable. We keep families together. We let immigrants know that it is safe to report crime and abuse without fear of deportation. Vote to protect sanctuary cities
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    A majority of these comments say that "immigrants" are the "backbone" of "American culture." All of that is 100% true, HOWEVER, this bill and the stricter immigration laws deal with ILLEGAL (Unlawful, criminal, etc..) IMMIGRANTS. If you do not want to comply with FEDERAL LAW, you lose your funding, simple as that.
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    "Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to break free."
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    Under the supremacy clause of the United States constitution, federal law supersedes state law. A state (or city) not following federal immigration laws are in violation of this authority.
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    Sanctuary cities should not lose federal funding. These cities value the lives and contributions of the immigrant communities this new administration is targeting, and I support sanctuary cities' efforts to resist Trump's strong arm approach to the issue.
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    #AmericaFirst now!! I'm all for LEGAL immigration. It's the illegal immigrants that are the problem.
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    Please don't penalize Sanctuary Cities for protecting the most vulnerable among us. Thank you.
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    I am from a family of immigrants who came here legally. Everyone is welcome as long as they obey the law and that begins with the laws regarding legal immigration.
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