Presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-TX), along with several other senators, helped introduce the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act this week as a means to crack down on illegal immigration.
“In light of the threat criminal aliens pose to the safety and security of our communities, we can no longer allow states and municipalities to take federal taxpayer money while turning a blind eye to the illegal aliens in their midst,” Cruz said in a statement.
Earlier this year, Cruz introduced Kate’s Law to bring attention to the tragic case of Kate Steinle. Steinle was shot and killed in July by Francisco Sanchez, an illegal immigrant who, despite being a repeat drug offender and deported five times, was somehow freely walking along the same San Francisco pier as her. Kate’s Law places a minimum five-year prison sentence on any illegal immigrant like Sanchez who reenters the country after committing a crime.
“What happened to Kate Steinle is heartbreaking,” Cruz said. “And the heartbreak is even more tragic given the circumstances. Clearly, our laws are not adequately deterring those who have already been deported from illegally reentering the country. I'm proud to join with my colleagues in sending the message that defiance of our nation's laws will no longer be tolerated. Of course, stiff penalties alone will not suffice. Congress must hold this Administration accountable for its failure-if not its outright refusal-to enforce federal immigration laws and ensure the safety and protection of the American people.”
Here are the specific provisions of the Stop Sanctuary Policies Act, provided by Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) office:
· Prohibits sanctuary jurisdictions from receiving federal funds under the Community Development Block Grant Program and the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program.
· Requires transparency to show which local jurisdictions are currently not in compliance with federal immigration law.
· Protects local jurisdictions and law enforcement agencies by preventing them from being sued for obeying the law and complying with federal immigration law enforcement requests.
· Increases criminal penalties for illegal immigrants who have illegally re-entered the United States after deportation and for those who have committed aggravated felonies.
· Endorsed by National Association of Police Organizations, National Sheriffs Association, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, Federation for American Immigration Reform and NumbersUSA.
This bill cannot return Kate Steinle to her grieving family, but it can hopefully prevent more unnecessary tragedy in the future.
The full list of the bill’s cosponsors are as follows: Sens. David Vitter (R-La.), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).