Senate Democrats who block legislation targeting sanctuary cities will be choosing partisanship over the lives of innocent Americans, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) charged on the Senate floor Tuesday.
“If, as many observers predict, Democratic senators choose to value partisan loyalty to the Obama White House over protecting the lives of the children who will be murdered by violent criminal illegal aliens in sanctuary cities if this body does not act, if they value partisan loyalty over that, and if they vote on a party-line vote… that will provide a moment of clarity,” said Cruz, a Republican presidential candidate.
The Senate is slated to take a stop-or-go procedural vote on the “Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act.”
The bill would restrict funding to those jurisdictions that do not comply with federal immigration authorities, also known as sanctuary cities. It would also impose tougher penalties on criminal aliens who illegally re-enter the U.S.
The bill was put forward following the murder of Kathryn Steinle at a San Francisco pier in July. The alleged shooter is a multiple deportee, multiple-felony, illegal immigrant who had been released from custody because of San Francisco’s sanctuary policy of not honoring federal requests that the illegals be detained until they can be deported.
Democrats have been opposing the legislation, charging it is anti-immigrant and divisive.
In response, Cruz asked Senate Democrats whose side they are on. “And for every Democratic senator this vote today is a simple decision, with whom do you stand?” he asked.
“Do you stand with the violent criminal illegal aliens who are being released over and over again? Because, mind you, a vote ‘No’ is to say the next time, the next murderer like Kate Steinle’s murderer comes in, we shouldn’t have a mandatory five-year prison sentence, instead we should continue sanctuary cities that welcome and embrace them, until perhaps it is our family members that lose their lives.”
If the legislation is blocked, Cruz urged that Republican leadership attach it to a “must pass” piece of legislation, such as the budget, that won’t be blocked by Democrats’s procedural moves.
“You know, Mr. President, leadership loves to speak of what they call governing. And in Washington, governing is always set at least an octave lower. Governing. Well, when it comes to stopping sanctuary cities and protecting our safety, we need some governing. We need to actually fix the problem rather than a show-vote,” Cruz said.