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Sen. Tom Cotton Introduces Legislation to Block "Sanctuary Cities" from Federal Law Enforcement Grants

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has introduced an amendment that would prohibit "sanctuary cities" from receiving federal law enforcement grants. A "sanctuary city" (or state) is a locality that has passed an ordinance that prohibits employees from cooperating with immigration officials.


Cotton's official statement referenced the murder of Kate Steinle--a 32-year-old woman who was killed by Francisco Sanchez, a seven-time convicted felon who was tabbed to be deported from the United States for a sixth time. San Francisco officials ignored an ICE detainer order on Sanchez and instead released him from custody after drug charges against him were dropped. Sanchez stated that he chose to live in San Francisco due to the city's 1989 "sanctuary city" ordinance that would shield him from deportation.

"The senseless murder of a young woman in San Francisco last week tragically illustrates that the politicization of the immigration debate has now swamped even common-sense efforts to protect public safety. It is unacceptable that cities would issue ordinances that explicitly aim to frustrate federal immigration laws that are supposed to keep illegal immigrant felons off the streets. U.S. taxpayers shouldn't be expected to support such misguided local policies that put their safety in jeopardy. No matter their political affiliation, local officials should support the rule of law and protect the safety of all Americans."


The full text of the amendment can be read here.

A jurisdiction would become eligible for grants upon repealing any legislation involving "sanctuary" policies. The Attorney General would have to then certify that the area is no longer a sanctuary city.

This legislation makes sense--law enforcement grants should not go to places where city employees are prohibited from enforcing immigration law. A convicted felon tabbed for deportation should not be allowed to roam the streets due to a "sanctuary" policy. Immigration laws exist for a reason--and like other laws in this country, should be enforced.

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