Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) will again introduce legislation targeting sanctuary cities, Breitbart News has learned.
Hunter’s bill would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to restrict funding to any state or locality that has in place a law, policy or procedure in contravention of federal immigration law, preventing “state or local law enforcement officials from gathering information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”
The legislation would make those cities with sanctuary policies or laws in place ineligible for State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) funding. SCAAP reimburses states and localities for the cost of holding illegal immigrants convicted of crimes.
“States and cities that refuse to enforce federal immigration laws directly undermine enforcement efforts and — as recent events have shown — present a real danger to citizens,” Hunter said in a statement to Breitbart News.
“If a state or one of its cities wants to call itself a sanctuary and deliberately ignore the law, then Congress shouldn’t hesitate to withhold federal funding until there’s compliance,” he continued. “One program that most certainly should cease reimbursement is SCAAP, which is intended to mitigate the costs of incarceration, and extend to salaries and overtime. And we should look to other programs too, but there should be wide support for a response, such as this proposal, that exercises a constitutional prerogative of Congress in order to uphold the law.
The bill is still being drafted and could target additional funding once finalized. Hunter expected to officially introduce it Tuesday or Wednesday.
Hunter’s legislation comes on the heels of the shooting death of Kathryn Steinle by a five-time deported, seven-time convicted felon at a San Francisco pier.
The alleged shooter, Francisco Sanchez, has admitted to shooting the young woman and revealed that he chose the Golden Gate City because of its sanctuary city policies.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has pointed out that although the agency had a detainer on Sanchez from a March arrest, the San Francisco Police Department did not honor it and Sanchez was released.
“ICE places detainers on aliens arrested on criminal charges to ensure dangerous criminals are not released from prisons or jails into our communities,” ICE explained in a statement.
According to the Bureau of Justice Assistance, in Fiscal Year 2014 the state of California received $41.6 million in SCAAP funding.
The California Republican has introduced other iterations of the bill in past Congresses.