Senate to Vote Today on Legislation that Includes Kate’s Law, Addresses Sanctuary Cities and Additional Law Enforcement Protections

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

“Just before the state work period, I asked Senators to consider some important questions.

“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 is that it isn’t fair. That’s why colleagues should support the legislation we’ll consider this afternoon.

“It aims to ensure more fairness to cities and states that do the right thing, redirecting certain federal funds to them from those that choose not to.

“It aims to support law-enforcement officers who risk everything for our safety, protecting them from lawsuits for simply doing their federally mandated duties.

“It aims to deliver justice for victims and their families, substantially increasing deterrence for criminals who commit felonies and then try to illegally re-renter our country — endeavoring to save more Americans from the pain these families continue to experience every day.

“We all know the heart-breaking story of Kate Steinle. Kate was walking arm-in-arm in with her father one moment, begging for help the next as she began bleeding to death in his arms.

“The man who ended her life shouldn’t have even been there that day.

“He had been convicted of seven felonies and deported five times.

“But San Francisco is a so-called ‘sanctuary city’ that arbitrarily decides when it will cooperate with the federal government and when it won’t, and it refused to even honor the federal government’s request for an immigration detainer.

“What happened to Kate is tragic. And it’s not just an isolated incident.

“Consider this letter from Susan Oliver, who lost her husband just last year.

The man that killed my husband, Deputy Danny Oliver, was deported several times for various felonies. However, due to the lack of coordination between law enforcement agencies, his killer was allowed back into this country… I [am] asking for only one thing. I do not want your sympathy, I want change so others will not have to endure the grief we have in our lives every day

“The bill is supported by law enforcement organizations like the National Sheriffs Association, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, and the National Association of Police Organizations.

“Here’s what the International Union of Police Associations had to say about it:

The International Union of Police Associations is proud to add our name to the list of supporters of the bill addressing ‘Sanctuary Cities’ titled Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act... As it now stands, our officers can be held liable for sharing relevant information and honoring immigration detainers, even when they are from federal immigration officials. This legislation remedies that… Additionally, the bill provides a financial disincentive for cities to become or remain ‘sanctuary cities.’

“The organization also noted that this bill would help end the ‘revolving door’ of criminals who ‘even though convicted of felony criminal activity and deported, unlawfully return to prey upon our citizens.’

“The issue before us is not really about immigration, it’s more about keeping our communities safe.

“Those who defend so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ callously disregard how their extreme policies hurt others.

“The President’s own DHS Secretary has used terms like ‘not acceptable’ and ‘counter-productive to public safety’ when referring to sanctuary city policies. Such extreme policies can inflict almost unimaginable pain on innocent victims and their families.

“As the father of three daughters, I know we can do better.

“I’m calling on every colleague to put compassion before left-wing ideology today.

“This bill would support the deputy sheriff who puts her life on the line every day. This bill would provide hope and justice for victims and their families.

“Let’s vote to support them, not defend extreme policies that hurt them.”

Related Issues: Law Enforcement, Immigration