Tags: Immigration | republicans | sanctuary | cities | illegal | aliens

Republicans Step Up Attacks on 'Sanctuary Cities'

By    |   Saturday, 11 July 2015 06:35 AM

Eager to sharpen the focus of the nation's contentious immigration debate and spurred by the random slaying of a woman by an criminal illegal alien shielded by "sanctuary" prohibitions, Republicans are mobilizing around tightening deportation enforcement.

Former governors Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry are stressing consequences for states that impede federal immigration authorities – and propose taking millions of dollars away from states with "sanctuary cities," the Washington Times reports.

"What most people don’t realize is that existing laws provide more than enough leeway for the executive branch to get the illegal immigration crisis under control," Huckabee, Arkansas' former governor, said in an email soliciting support for his immigration plan, the Times reports.

Former Texas executive Perry said if elected, he'd withhold funding under the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which sends hundreds of millions of dollars to states to compensate them for jailing illegal immigrants, the Times reports. Many of those same jurisdictions bill the government but refuse to cooperate.

On Capitol Hill, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, sent a blistering letter to Homeland Security officials, demanding answers in the slaying case of Kathryn Steinle, whose suspected assailant had been deported five times and had a felony record, yet was freed by San Francisco authorities under their sanctuary policy.

"Kathryn Steinle and her family deserve more than a bureaucratic answer as to why her life was taken," he wrote. "The American people deserve to understand why the government is tolerating cities and states that turn a blind eye to criminal aliens and those who violate our immigration laws."

Grassley first voiced concern over "anti-enforcement" sanctuary policies in 2011, according to Numbers USA, which advocates for reductions in immigration.

Grassley, in a letter to then Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, said at the time that the policies were "allowing criminals to walk free and putting the safety of the public at risk."

"This all adds up to an administration that has little concern with the rule of law," he wrote. "Sanctuary cities undermine the ability of law enforcement personnel to enforce the laws on the books, and until the administration shows a desire to put an end to the practice, local governments will continue to thumb their nose at law enforcement."

The Center for Immigration Studies estimates more than 200 cities, counties and states have sanctuary policies that hamper police cooperation with federal immigration authorities, the Times reports.

Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton has introduced legislation to withhold certain federal grants from sanctuary cities after a similar idea had been approved by the House Judiciary Committee in March.

And Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby wrote a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch pushing the administration to withhold federal funding from cities that fail to cooperate with federal law enforcement in immigration cases, according to The Hill.

Florida's Sen. Marco Rubio, another GOP presidential hopeful, contends political biases in San Francisco let sanctuary policies get "completely out of control."

"We have a sovereign country, and we have the right to enforce our immigration laws, irrespective of how you feel about immigration at large," Rubio said.

"Everyone should acknowledge we as a country have the right to have immigration laws and the right to enforce them. In this case, you have political, elected officials in ultra-liberal government who refuses to comply with the law because they don't agree with the law."

Meanwhile, San Francisco's sheriff defended the release of Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, who's now accused of randomly murdering Steinle on July 1, saying federal authorities failed to provide a legal basis to continue to hold him.

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi said his department followed procedure and local laws when they released Sanchez in April after a years-old arrest warrant on marijuana charges against him was dismissed.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani says there are more "sensible sanctuary policies" than those in San Francisco.

"This thing in San Francisco is way off the charts," he said Friday.

"I never, back in my day, would have contemplated a sanctuary city that would have said a guy [who was] deported five times would be out of jail. If you're an illegal immigrant and arrested for a serious crime, you should have no bail because you're a risk of flight. There shouldn't be bail for you."

Giuliani notes the concept of "sanctuary cities" that allow municipalities to determine if they'll detain certain illegal immigrants wanted by federal authorities has been around since the 1980s.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

1Like our page
Eager to sharpen the focus of the nation's contentious immigration debate and spurred by the random slaying of a woman by an criminal illegal alien shielded by "sanctuary" prohibitions, Republicans are mobilizing around tightening deportation enforcement.
republicans, sanctuary, cities, illegal, aliens
Saturday, 11 July 2015 06:35 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved