Senator Scott Champions Legislation to Keep America Safe, Stop Progressives From Harboring and Abetting Illegal Immigrants

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) joined Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) in championing two bills to stop sanctuary cities and keep American communities safe from the failed policies of progressive politicians who have allowed violent criminal illegal immigrants to continue committing crimes. The introduction of the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act and the Immigration Detainer Enforcement Act follows the brutal murder of Laken Riley while she was running on the UGA campus by Jose Ibarra, an illegal immigrant who had been arrested twice before but released before a detainer could be issued.

President Biden has implemented a policy of mass releasing illegal immigrants at our southern border, leading to over 10 million illegal immigrants entering the United States during his administration. In addition, there have been over 1.85 million illegal immigrant “gotaways” during the past three fiscal years who crossed into the U.S. without being apprehended.

“President Biden’s open border policies, combined with Democrat-run sanctuary cities, are putting Americans’ lives at risk,” said Senator Scott. “For too long, we’ve watched these cities provide a safe harbor for illegal immigrants who go on to commit violent crimes. These bills take long-needed steps to empower law enforcement and hold both the people who commit these crimes, as well as the officials who enable them, accountable.”

“For too long, we have watched local jurisdictions in North Carolina and across the country ignore the lawful notification and detainer requests made by ICE agents and instead release dangerous criminals back into their communities and put innocent lives at risk,” said Senator Tillis. “It is clear President Biden and liberal politicians want to prioritize reckless sanctuary policies over public safety. It is time for Congress to step in and put an end to this madness by holding sanctuary cities accountable and empowering ICE to gain custody of criminal illegal immigrants so they can’t cause more harm and violence.”

Both pieces of legislation are co-sponsored by Senators Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.). Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) are also co-sponsors of the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act.


The Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act fights sanctuary city policies and provides justice for the victims and their families who are harmed when sanctuary jurisdictions put public safety in danger. Specifically, this legislation establishes a private right of action for any individual, spouse, parent, or child who is a victim of murder, rape, or any felony (as defined by the State) to bring an action against a State or political subdivision of a State if the entity declined to honor a lawful immigration detainer request for an alien by the Department of Homeland Security. In addition, this legislation requires a State or political subdivision of a State to waive immunity as a condition of receiving certain federal grants. Read the full text of the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act here.

The Immigration Detainer Enforcement Act would clarify DHS detainer authority, clearly establish the authority of states and localities to maintain custody in cases in which a detainer has been issued, and incentivize cooperation between law enforcement agencies and the Department through the reimbursement of certain detention, technology, and litigation-related costs. Read the full text of the Immigration Detainer Enforcement Act here.

These two pieces of legislation address disastrous illegal immigration policies that fueled Laken Riley’s murder and the following incidents: