by Bill Callen| Top Right News
The House overwhelmingly passed a bill Thursday which would punish “sanctuary cities” that refuse to enforce federal immigration law, much to the anger of the Obama Administration, which had lobbied furiously to kill the bill.
H.R. 3009 passed easily in the lower chamber 241 to 179, Western Journalism reported. The bill would force local governments and law enforcement agencies to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement if they have an illegal alien in custody; or face revocation of Federal law enforcement grants to their city.
“I think we can all agree that any state or locality must comply with the law—and they are required to coordinate and cooperate with the federal government,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who sponsored the legislation. “If an arrest is made, the federal government should be notified. The fact that San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities disagree with the politics of federal enforcement doesn’t mean they should receive a pass to subvert the law.”
“And if they do, there needs to be consequences—and the way we impose those consequences is by hitting them where it hurts. In the pocketbook,” Hunter added.
The bill was passed after 32-year-old Kate Steinle was murdered earlier this month by an illegal alien who had been deported from the U.S. five times and had been previously convicted of seven felonies.
Steinle’s father testified before Congress in devastating testimony this week.
Under great pressure from constituents, and despite massive White House pressure, six Democrats went against Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA), and voted for the bill: Reps. Ami Bera of California, Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Bill Keating of Massachusetts, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, and Krysten Sinema of Arizona.
Opponents of the bill have tied it to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, including Pelosi, who in a statement earlier this week labeled the proposal the “Donald Trump Act.” Pelosi went on to call the bill a “wildly partisan, misguided bill that second-guesses the decisions of police chiefs around the country about how to best ensure public safety.”
“Just a few weeks into his campaign and Donald Trump has a bill on the floor of the House. That is better than some of the senators he’s running against,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., a fierce opponent of conservative immigration measures, told The Hill Thursday.
But as Trump himself has moved to the front of national polls, and the sanctuary cities policies are opposed by a stunning 78% of Americans, supporters of the bill are embracing the title “Donald Trump Act” and demanding that Obama sign it, to the anger of the Democrats, who clearly miscalculated.
And Obama — already hurt by the publicity of a high-profile murder — and his allies have angrily defended the deeply unpopular policies, and promised a veto.
But the bill is already rolling into the Senate, where Sens. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., introduced similar legislation to what has been passed in the House. The legislation, entitled the Protecting American Lives Act, goes a step further with language that includes a mandatory five-year prison sentence for any deported illegal immigrant who re-enters the U.S. illegally.
In light of Steinle’s murder, pressure is already intense on Senators to pass it, and it likely will pass with Republican votes. If Obama vetoes this bill, the Democrats will be blamed for these horrible crimes in 2016. Bring it on, Barry!
[h/t: Western Journalism]