Nearly two-thirds of likely U.S. voters want the Department of Justice to take legal action against so-called sanctuary cities that do not enforce most national immigration laws, according to a new survey.
polled voters and found that 62 percent of them want the government to step in and punish cities for essentially providing safe haven for illegal immigrants. That amounts to 79 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of unaffiliated voters, and 43 percent of Democrats.
Fifty-eight percent of those voters would like to see the federal government cut off funding to more than 200 such cities
across the nation, a figure that includes 79 percent of Republicans.
Sanctuary cities have been in the news after a San Francisco woman was allegedly shot and killed by an illegal immigrant
who was taking refuge in the city. He had been deported five times, and the shooting appears to be a random murder.
Presidential candidates, including Republicans Jeb Bush and Rand Paul, along with Democrat Hillary Clinton, criticized sanctuary cities this week.
"The city made a mistake, not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported," Clinton said, according to CBS News.
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton
, a Republican, introduced legislation this week aimed at repealing sanctuary laws.
The discussion on sanctuary cities is just another rung on the national immigration debate that has raged for months, ever since President Barack Obama took executive action last fall that would grant amnesty to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S. The order
is currently held up in the court system.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump, a Republican candidate for president, injected new life into the debate when he criticized both the policy and the illegals crossing the border.
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems to us," said Trump, who clarified his remarks in an op-ed for Newsmax
this week. "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people!
"But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we're getting. And it only makes common sense. They're sending us not the right people. It's coming from more than Mexico. It's coming from all over South and Latin America, and it's coming probably from the Middle East. But we don't know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don't know what's happening. And it's got to stop and it's got to stop fast."
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said on his show this week Trump altered the debate on immigration with his remarks.
"Look at what Donald Trump has done," Limbaugh said Wednesday
. "Donald Trump has single-handedly changed the debate in terms of electoral politics now. There is a bunch of us who have been saying similar things, doing similar things. But none of us is running for president and none of us has been covered by the media day in/day out with every syllable that we utter.
"Donald Trump has changed the entire debate on immigration, and he is not the story today. The story today is sanctuary cities."
© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.