The murder of a young woman on a San Francisco pier at the hands of an illegal immigrant has highlighted the dangers of sanctuary cities policies, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) explained in an interview with Brietbart News.
“A random act like that… kind of just brings to light, brings home, you have some dangerous criminal aliens and nobody is doing anything about it. Nothing. You have cities that are complicit. It is kind of crazy,” Hunter said.
The California lawmaker is introducing legislation Thursday to target sanctuary cities to encourage their compliance with federal immigration laws.
His bill, the “Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act,” would eliminate Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, State Criminal Alien Assistance Program grants, and Community Oriented Policing Services Program grants to sanctuary jurisdictions.
“Why give federal money to law enforcement agencies in these municipalities that are not obeying federal law, in fact flouting federal law by releasing folks that are criminals?” Duncan asked.
“It hits them where they hurt,” he said of the bill. “The only way to get their attention is to take their funding.”
Hunter has introduced different iterations of this bill in past Congresses. According to the California Republican, while House leadership expressed an interest in his bill this time around, he says leadership did not show a need for haste to get the bill passed.
“[Leadership] hasn’t shown any interest in my bill until now. Unfortunately it has taken this tragedy to get their attention,” he said.
The legislation comes following the shooting death of Kate Steinle by an illegal immigrant with a lengthy criminal record who had been deported at least five times. The illegal immigrant — Francisco Sanchez — had been released from the San Francisco Sheriff Department less than three months prior due to the city’s sanctuary policies.
The murder, at a popular San Francisco tourist destination, has sparked debate about sanctuary city policies across the country.
“If a city is not going to comply with federal law and put the public in danger, at risk, then they should not get federal money to do that,” Hunter said.
In FY 2015, Congress allocated $376 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, $185 million for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program grants, and $208 million for the Community Oriented Policing Services Program grants.