This week Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) led a group of 48 lawmakers to ask both Homeland Security and Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriators to include language in their FY2019 bills that would prevent funds from going to jurisdictions with sanctuary policies in place.
Sanctuary policies are laws, ordinances, resolutions, executive actions, or any initiatives that prohibit local officials from inquiring, acting on, or reporting an individual’s immigration status—even when there is reasonable suspicion that an individual is in the country illegally. Many sanctuary policies restrict law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal immigration officials, including prohibiting their compliance with immigration detainers. The U.S. is currently home to hundreds of sanctuary jurisdictions.
While there are countless examples that demonstrate how dangerous sanctuary policies are to the American people, undoubtedly, the most well-known is the story of Kate Steinle— an example that Rep. King cites in his request:
“We need not remind you of the shocking case of Kate Steinle in San Francisco in 2015, which revealed the danger sanctuary cities pose to our Republic. Steinle was shot and killed by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times. San Francisco authorities were asked to detain Sanchez until he could be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.” The letter continues, “the city declined and held Sanchez in jail for less than a month on a 20-year-old drug charge before releasing him on April 15, 2015, less than two months before he killed Steinle.”
Last summer, the House of Representatives passed legislation known as “Kate’s Law” to strengthen punishments for individuals that illegally renter the United States after deportation. In conjunction, Representatives also passed the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act to withhold certain federal grants from sanctuary jurisdictions— a measure so common sense that even a few Democrats voted in favor of it.
However, the Senate has not yet passed these vital pieces of legislation and as such, Congressman King is right to try to utilize the Congressional Power of the Purse to fight these dangerous policies.
FAIR strongly supports this letter, which can be viewed in its entirety here. Below is the excerpted language request:
SEC _. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to obligate or award funds to a State or a political subdivision of a.State that–
‘(A) has in effect any law, policy, or procedure in contravention of subsection (a) or (b) of section 642 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 US.C 1373); or
‘(BJ has in effect any law, policy, or procedure the result of which hinders the federal
government from enforcing the immigration laws as defined by 8 USC JOJ (a)(17). ‘.
Please stay tuned for future updates on immigration policies included in the FY2019 appropriations process.