Tuesday | October 20, 2015

Senator Scott Fights to Stop Sanctuary City Policies

Washington - U.S. Senator Tim Scott released the statement below after Senate Democrats today blocked consideration of the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act. Scott is a cosponsor of the bill, which wouldwithhold certain federal funding from sanctuary states or cities that fail to comply with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued detainer requests for illegal immigrants.

"By refusing to comply with federal immigration laws and immigration authorities, sanctuary cities are knowingly creating an environment where criminals feel welcome and where repeat offenders know they can go without fear of repercussions," Scott said."As the tragic murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco and so many other senseless deaths of innocent Americans show us, theObama Administration's acceptance and even support of sanctuary policies provides one more piece of the puzzle for those seeking to come to our country with malice in their hearts."

Scott continued, "Iam disappointed Senate Democrats blocked this common sense measure that strengthens our nation's immigration laws while going after real criminals who not only are in the United States illegally, but are either committing further crimes or repeatedly reentering the country after being deported. Iwill continue working to end these sanctuary policies, secure our border, and strengthen America's immigration policies."

Studies show there are nearly 300 sanctuary cities, and more than 340 total jurisdictions supporting sanctuary policies, across the nation.To curb the formation and or continuation of sanctuary cities, the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act:

  • Defines a sanctuary jurisdiction as a state or locality that prohibits its law enforcement officers from cooperating with federal immigration officials, even if they wish to do so;
  • Provides transparency by requiring DHS to publicly list which jurisdictions are deemed sanctuary jurisdictions;
  • Withholds certain federal funds and grants from sanctuary jurisdictions;
  • Requires that those withheld funds are re-allocated and made available to other state and localities jurisdictions that allow their local law enforcement to cooperate with federal officials;
  • Confirms that local law enforcement have the legal authority to cooperate with federal immigration officials if they wish, while protecting individuals' civil rights and preserving individuals' ability to sue for violations of civil and constitutional rights.
  • Establishes a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years for illegal immigrants who are convicted of re-entering the U.S. after being convicted of an aggravated felony or being convicted of having illegally re-entered the U.S. twice prior (also known as Kate's Law).

The Stop Sanctuary Cities andProtect American Actis endorsed by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National Association of Police Organizations, and the National Sheriffs' Association, in addition to organizations that represent victims of illegal immigration.

Related Issues:  Immigration