In another key immigration vote Thursday, the House passed the "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act", which cuts off some federal funding for so-called sanctuary cities. Local jurisdictions and law enforcement agencies have argued that their policies are actually about making communities safer - by building trust with local communities - and say that what the government is actually trying to do is co-opt their precious resources to carry out what should be federal officers' job. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), would also allow victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants the ability to sue sanctuary cities if they "released the alien from custody prior to the commission of such crime as a effect of the State or political subdivision's declining to honor a detainer".
"Closing these loopholes in our laws must be a priority if we are to make America safe from these risky transnational organizations", Trump said. Goodnow also said that even if the law were passed, its fight would be "far from over". The bill is named after 32-year old Kathryn Steinle, who was shot and killed in San Francisco in 2015 by a man who was in the country illegally.
The President was commenting upon the first law, known as Kate's Law, which "increases criminal penalties for illegal immigrants who repeatedly re-enter the country illegally".
President Donald Trump often made time for other families who lost loved ones to illegal immigrants when he was on the campaign trail. "In fact, it's city policy", Sessions said, according to a statement from the White House.
Pending too is legislation inspired by Steinle's slaying, but Kate's Law got a big boost Thursday afternoon, two days before the second anniversary of her death. It would also establish new probable cause standards allowing federal authorities to more easily detain undocumented immigrants held in local jails. Together these bills ensure that taxpayers dollars are not being used to subsidize "sanctuary cities", and increase prison sentences for immigrants convicted of illegally re-entering the USA following deportation.
The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act would require cities to comply with federal immigration authorities - such as U.S. Customs and Immigration - or face a cutoff of federal law enforcement funds.
Critics of efforts targeting "sanctuary cities" blasted the bills' passages Thursday, saying it's inappropriate for the USA government to mandate that local law enforcement agencies enforce federal laws - particularly by threatening to cut funding, which totals in the billions nationwide.
"These were bills I campaigned on and that are vital to our public safety and national security", Trump said.
"I knew Kate Steinle growing up and remain in touch with her family, who live in my congressional district", the Dublin Democrat said. As such, they proposed legislation to impose harsher sentences on undocumented immigrants who have already been convicted of crimes.
"By flagrantly disregarding the rule of law, sanctuary cities are putting lives at risk, and we can not tolerate that", Ryan said.
The House of Representatives passed two immigration-related bills on Thursday that aim to curb unauthorized immigration through tougher penalties and by putting financial pressure on local police departments.
The bills still need to be approved by the Senate, where many analysts believe both will be defeated. A separate measure would stiffen punishments for people who re-enter the US illegally. It is a bait-and-switch strategy: "use a frightful tragedy to sell a policy that would not have prevented that death, so that you put more immigrants in jail for longer periods of time".