Funding for Sanctuary Jurisdictions Already in the Crosshairs for FY2019

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.

About Author


Heather Ham-Warren joined FAIR’s Government Relations department in 2018. In her role, Heather advocates for FAIR’s interests before Congress, the Administration, and federal agencies. She also reviews and analyzes federal legislation and regulations, as well as conducts research on a wide variety of legal and immigration-related topics. Heather brings with her several years of political and legislative experience having worked for legislatures at the both the state and federal levels. She began her career in D.C. working on Capitol Hill—most recently serving as Legislative Director for a Florida Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Florida and a Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law.


  1. avatar
    The American on

    It appears this will get ugly….after all, these States are the ones that are the biggest economic engines.

    • avatar

      You mean like California, with the highest poverty rate in the country when cost of living is factored in? Or Illinois which is so broke they were unable to even pay lottery winners a few months back. Both states have massive unfunded pension obligations. Your “engines” are in the junk yard.

      • avatar

        You feel insulted because without these States you would be a Third World country citizen…. no worries…u have been n one for a long time …

  2. avatar

    These so called leaders that refused to uphold the laws in protecting United States citizens. They need to be recalled from office. They need to be labeled traitor of the United States! These so called leaders should not be putting illegal aliens before the American citizens. Illegal aliens have no rights in this country. No right to be collecting taxpayer handouts. The system is setup for the American poor. Not foreign invaders!

  3. avatar
    Sandra Churchill-Reis on

    We need Federal laws in place so one party (not in the majority) cannot hold those in power hostage just because they want to destroy opportunities for USA to be successful with a NEW admin. Additionally, no one judge or state court should be allowed to twist/change OR NOT follow the federal laws 100% of the time to the written law. If leaders or judges do this they are enemy of USA and put in jail ASAP. Must protect t No one judge he USA from a coup from one party over another. If the party congress does not support their president, the PPL have a right to replace them ASAP to prevent splitting USA and making the ppl’s vote null and void. Congress or any department is NOT allowed to put benefits in place w/o PPL vote and all laws put in place by lawmakers regardless of party -they must all follow same laws/justice as American citizens must follow. Never allow special interest and if anyone in power takes a gift of any kind-it is jail time.
    The USA is at high risk for illegal votes; killing of legal citizens; Laws not being followed by leadership if they decide they disagree. Schools are training children minds to be twisted. Need to move back to approved book training -no opinions are allowed and call it teaching. Americans first No jobs are allowed by illegals in this country for any reason. Americans first ALWAYS. Move to a merit system on immigration no more sad stories the USA first. Time GOP and DNC act as a team for current presidents agenda or they are removed from Congress. This assures entire USA and Legal citizens are protected. DOJ and FBI, as well as CIA, must always remain protective of all legal citizens at all times -not to ever be taken over by one party or another for any reason what so ever. If you do not like the law-use our system to get it changed legally. Until we do these things and keep our laws and Amendments safe-we are all at high risk of losing our way of life and country. No one changes our laungage unless all the legal citizens vote on it.