Tags: toomey | gop address | kate steinle | sanctuary

Toomey: Sanctuary Cities Law Vital for US Safety


By    |   Saturday, 17 Oct 2015 09:34 AM

A bill coming before the Senate next week calls for removing federal funds from the nation's sanctuary cities and giving stiffer sentences for "illegal aliens that repeatedly disregard our immigration laws and endanger all Americans," Sen. Pat Toomey said Saturday.

"Under this commonsense legislation, sanctuary cities would lose federal funds if they maintain these dangerous policies," the Pennsylvania Republican said in this week's GOP address. "We have to take this step in order to get these cities to do the right thing and stop undermining our immigration laws."

The Stop Sanctuary Policies Act will also include "Kate's Law," said Toomey, to provide a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for any illegal immigrant who comes back into the United States after already been convicted of an aggravated felony, or for any who have been convicted twice of illegally re-entering the country.

The bill is named for Kate Steinle, who was shot and killed on a San Francisco pier, where she was walking with her father.

"That shooter should never have been on the pier that day," said Toomey. "He was an illegal immigrant, who had been previously convicted of seven felonies and deported five times."

Further, Toomey said that just three months before the deadly shooting, the Department of Homeland Security had asked San Francisco police to hold the attacker, but as the city forbids police officers from cooperating with federal immigration officials, the man was freed.

"If federal officials had called about virtually any other crime — robbery, car theft, even violating a trademark — San Francisco police would have been allowed to cooperate," Toomey said. "But because the crime involved illegal immigration, their hands were tied. The local police were forced to release this repeat criminal from custody, and he then went on to murder Kate Steinle."

The issue isn't about immigration, Toomey insisted, but about stopping criminals and keeping communities safe.

"I don't for a minute suggest that most immigrants commit crimes," he said. "In fact, the opposite is true. The vast majority of legal immigrants are great additions to America, and we should welcome them. "But when illegal immigrants do commit violent crimes in our country, they must be arrested and deported. That's the law."

But sanctuary cities stop police from enforcing immigration laws and make "a mockery" of attempts to deal with the broken immigration system, Toomey said.

Toomey is co-sponsoring the act with Louisiana GOP Sen. David Vitter, and said it should be a bipartisan effort, as Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has also said sanctuary cities are "counterproductive to public safety."


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A bill coming before the Senate next week calls for removing federal funds from the nation's sanctuary cities and giving stiffer sentences for illegal aliens that repeatedly disregard our immigration laws and endanger all Americans, Sen. Pat Toomey said Saturday.
toomey, gop address, kate steinle, sanctuary
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2015-34-17
Saturday, 17 Oct 2015 09:34 AM
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