Senate to Consider Legislation That Would Penalize ‘Sanctuary’ Cities

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act:

“Senators will soon travel to their home states for the state work period. I ask colleagues to consider some important questions as they meet with constituents and take time to reflect.

“In a time of limited federal resources and tough choices, is it fair to treat localities that cooperate with federal law enforcement or work hard to follow federal law no better than localities that refuse to help or actively flout the law?

“When a deputy sheriff puts her life on the line every day, is it fair to make her live in constant fear of being sued for simply trying to keep us safe?

“When felons enter our country illegally and repeatedly, is it fair to victims and families to not do what we can now to stop them?

“The answer to all of these questions is no. It isn’t fair.

“Not to citizens and governments that do the right thing.

“Not to law-enforcement officers who risk everything for our safety.

“Not to victims and their families.

“The proponents of so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ seem to callously disregard how their policies can hurt others. That’s not right. The bill I just filed cloture on this afternoon aims to ensure more fairness on this issue.

“The ideas underpinning the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act are supported by many Americans. The bill is supported by many law-enforcement organizations too.

“They’ve had some really positive things to say about it, like one letter I’ll read from now:

Thank you for introducing the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act, which will empower federal and local law enforcement officers’ cooperative efforts to better protect our communities and our citizenry. Your proposal will ensure we do not dishonor the memory of Kate Steinle and the immeasurable grief her family is enduring…Ms. Steinle was killed in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant who had previously been deported from the United States five times, and had been convicted of seven felonies. The shooter chose to live in San Francisco because he knew it was a sanctuary city that would shield him from federal immigration law. Tragically, his ‘sanctuary’ gambit proved fatal for the Steinle family. Federal officials requested that San Francisco detain the shooter until immigration authorities could pick him up, but San Francisco officials refused to cooperate and released Sanchez three months before Kate's murder. We owe it to Kate and the American citizenry to fix this critical community safety issue now.

“That’s what the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association had to say about this bill.

“Groups like the National Sheriffs Association and the National Association of Police Organizations have sent letters in support as well.

“I thank the sponsors of this legislation for all their hard work on this bill.

“I hope Senators will reflect on the questions I raised over the state work period. The Senate will consider this bill when we reconvene.”

Related Issues: Immigration, Law Enforcement