The House approved legislation Thursday to punish so-called “sanctuary cities” for failing to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, in the first congressional response to a brazen murder earlier this month in San Francisco allegedly committed by an illegal immigrant, Fox News reports.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., would penalize jurisdictions that bar the collection of immigration information or don’t cooperate with federal “detainer” requests, by blocking them from receiving certain federal law enforcement grants and funding.
It passed 241-179. The Senate is considering similar legislation.
“Sanctuary city policies needlessly endanger American lives by refusing to honor the federal government’s authority to enforce immigration laws,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the Obama Administration’s own foolish policies enable rogue local governments to defy federal immigration laws. All too often, these reckless policies create preventable tragedies.”
The legislation already faces a White House veto threat. The White House said the bill “fails to offer” comprehensive reforms and undermines current efforts to remove dangerous convicted criminals and work with local law enforcement.
Angry Democrats accused Republicans of aligning themselves with Donald Trump and his brash anti-illegal immigrant views.
The legislation is the first passed since the July 1 killing of Kathryn Steinle on a California pier.
Steinle, 32, was allegedly shot by Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, an illegal immigrant who had been released from city sheriff’s department custody in April.