Tampa Bay's Republican US House members cheer passage of immigration bills

House Republicans Applaud Passage Of Bills Cracking Down On Sanctuary Cities Guest Post
House Republicans Applaud Passage Of Bills Cracking Down On Sanctuary Cities Guest Post

01 July, 2017

Kate's Law, which increases penalties for people who reenter the US after being deported or convicted of a crime, passed 257 to 167, with 24 Democrats joining almost all Republicans in voting yes.

The bill was named after 32-year old Kathryn Steinle, who also was shot and killed in California in 2015 by a man who was in the country illegally.

During a roundtable at the White House on Wednesday with family members of those killed by undocumented immigrants, Trump talked about the importance of "Kate's Law".

Kate's Law would incrementally lengthen prison stays for deported criminal immigrants each time they re-entered the country illegally.

Congress can also make it harder for criminal aliens to repeatedly reenter the United States.

The "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act" would strip state and local governments of Justice Department and Homeland Security grant funding for law enforcement and anti-terrorism efforts if they refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials.

President Trump will undoubtedly sign both bills, as they align with his campaign promises, but they face an uphill battle in the Senate where they'll need 60 votes to pass onto the president's desk for final approval.

But immigration and civil liberties advocates say the bills are nothing more than an attempt to crack down on all 11 million undocumented people living in the United States, and that they are part of the Trump administration's attempt to create a brutal "deportation force" to upend the lives of innocent people.

One of the bills, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, passed the House 228-195 with support from three Democrats and opposition from seven Republicans.

Check back for updates on this developing story. Instead of stripping federal funds from local law enforcement, we should be passing comprehensive immigration reform.

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Law enforcement groups have expressed opposition to the proposal blocking federal grants to localities with sanctuary policies.

No Sanctuary for Criminals Act will cut federal grant money to cities that "shield risky criminal aliens from being turned over to federal law enforcement".

The White House strongly supports both measures. The measure would impose tougher mandatory minimum prison sentences on people who re-enter the country without authorization and boost penalties for those convicted of other crimes.

The bill also contains a provision-known as Sarah and Grant's law - which would ensure that illegal aliens are detained pending their removal proceedings, rather than let them continue to linger in USA communities for weeks, months and even years after they have been ordered deported.

"This would have a chilling effect on how victims and witnesses from immigrant communities in San Diego cooperate with law enforcement, which is a hindrance to stopping crime and threatens public safety", Peters said.

Democrats say that the laws would have unintended consequences for immigrant families whose only crime was entering the country illegally.

"The ultimate experts on community safety are communities themselves, and hundreds of them have determined that as community trust increases, crime decreases", said Rep, John Conyers, D-Mich., the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.

"For six years, we have been just getting by - cutting resources as the world becomes more unsafe, asking more and more of those who serve, and putting off the tough choices", said Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, the House committee's chairman.

Federal immigration authorities asked the sheriff's department to detain Lopez-Sanchez until they could pick him up. "We can not allow the Trump Administration to continue scapegoating immigrants", he said.

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