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Victims of Illegal Immigrant Crime Call For End to Sanctuary Cities

In advance of a procedural vote on legislation targeting jurisdictions that do not cooperate with immigration officials — sanctuary cities — Senate Judiciary Committee staffers are highlighting the support the legislation is receiving from the families of criminal alien crime victims.

The “Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act,” if passed, would restrict would restrict federal funds and grants to sanctuary cities, redirecting the funding to localities that comply with immigration authorities.

The bill would also affirm local law enforcement’s right to comply with immigration officials and establish a mandatory minimum sentence for illegal immigrants convicted of re-entering the U.S. after being convicted of an aggravated felony or of illegally re-entering the U.S. twice.

Committee staff Tuesday morning highlight that 170,000 convicted criminal aliens with final orders of deportation remain on American streets and the more than 300 sanctuary jurisdictions are providing a refuge for them by refusing to work with federal immigration officials.

The impetus for the recent national focus on sanctuary cities was the July murder of Kathryn Steinle. Steinle was shot on a San Francisco pier allegedly by a multiple deportee illegal immigrant with a lengthy rap sheet who was allowed to walk free in San Francisco due to the city’s sanctuary policy of not complying with immigration detainers.

Steinle is not a lone victim of a sanctuary city policies and criminal immigrants allowed to remain in the U.S. Indeed the committee staff pointed to support the legislation is receiving from families who have lost loved ones to illegal immigrant crime. Listing the supporters, their letters of support and their stories:

·       Laura Wilkerson is the mother of Joshua Wilkerson, who was brutally murdered and set on fire by an illegal immigrant in 2010. Joshua’s Story

·       Brian McCann is the brother of Dennis McCann, who was struck and dragged to death by a drunk driver illegally in the country.  Because of Chicago’s sanctuary policy, Dennis’ killer posted bail despite a federal immigration detainer and fled to Mexico before his trial. Dennis’ Story

·       Michael Ronnebeck is uncle of Grant Ronnebeck who was shot point blank in the face while working at a convenience store by a man with a lengthy violent criminal record who was later released on bond pending deportation proceedings. Grant’s Story.

·       Susan Oliver is the widow of Deputy Danny Oliver who was killed in the line of duty by a man who had been deported several times with several felonies.  Danny’s Story

·       Don Rosenberg is the father of Drew Rosenberg who was struck and repeatedly run over by an unlicensed immigrant who attempted to flee the scene. Drew’s Story

Additionally, the committee staff pointed to endorsements from law enforcement groups such as the National Association of Police Organizations, National Sheriffs’ Association, Federal Law Enforcement Officers AssociationInternational Union of Police Associations (AFL-CIO) as well as organizations like The Remembrance Project and America First Latinos.

The Senate is voting to proceed to the legislation Tuesday afternoon. The bill needs at least 60 votes to get to the floor for a vote on final passage.

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