Tags: Immigration | sanctuary | cities | washington | legislation

Sanctuary Cities Under Fire in Washington

Image: Sanctuary Cities Under Fire in Washington
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By    |   Wednesday, 15 Jul 2015 11:28 AM

Following public outrage over the recent killing of a 32-year-old San Francisco woman by an illegal immigrant with a lengthy felony record and five deportations, Republicans, and some Democrats — including California Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein — are galvanizing to put an end to sanctuary cities.

Politico reports that the Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday voted to "block sanctuary cities from getting certain federal grants as part of a broader bill funding the Department of Homeland Security" while "key Senate Republicans signaled they would soon take up sanctuary cities legislation."

Sanctuary cities prohibit the use of municipal funds to enforce federal immigration laws and do not allow police to ask about a person's immigration status.

At a House Judiciary Committee meeting Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told lawmakers that passing legislation to compel sanctuary cities to cooperate with the feds is not the answer, explaining that doing so "could conflict with the Constitution, and it won't win over the hearts of reluctant communities," according to The Washington Times.

Instead, according to Politico, Johnson suggested "that the most effective way to work with jurisdictions … is through a cooperative effort."

The secretary said he and other DHS officials have been crisscrossing the country "for the purpose of promoting public safety to get jurisdictions to cooperate with us on this."

So far, according to Johnson, 33 of the 49 largest jurisdictions have agreed to cooperate with Homeland Security officials on its new Priority Enforcement Program, which targets only certain immigrants who are top priorities for deportation, while five have declined and 11 have not decided, Politico reported.

The new program replaced the Secure Communities program — launched under the Patriot Act after 9/11 — which was scrapped after critics complained it "deported too many immigrants guilty of minor crimes, like traffic violations and non-violent offenses like theft and burglary," according to Fox News.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, told Johnson that the administration ought to take cities and states that don't comply with ICE detainers to court.

"Politely asking for cooperation from sanctuary cities is a fool's errand," Goodlatte said.

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Following public outrage over the recent killing of a 32-year-old San Francisco woman by an illegal immigrant with a lengthy felony record and five deportations, Republicans, and some Democrats are galvanizing to put an end to sanctuary cities.
sanctuary, cities, washington, legislation
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2015-28-15
Wednesday, 15 Jul 2015 11:28 AM
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