Four Republican representatives announced their plan Tuesday to deny general federal funds from American cities that harbor illegal aliens and frustrate federal efforts to enforce immigration laws.
The move comes after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his own plans to crack down on these so-called “Sanctuary Cities” by withholding Justice Department grants to which they would otherwise be entitled. Sessions also hinted last week that he would be looking into additional methods of being “detrimental” to these jurisdictions which include some of the nation’s largest communities such as New York City and Cook County, Illinois, home to murder-capital Chicago.
The plan, led by Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), and Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), represents the Congressional answer to the call for wider punishment by Attorney General Sessions, is laid out in a request to be delivered Wednesday morning to both the majority and minority leadership of the House Appropriations Committee.
In addition to these four, the request is signed by 32 other Republican representatives, many of whom have ties to the House Freedom Caucus. The congressmen demand that committee insert language in the bills funding the Departments of Homeland Security, Commerce, Justice, and other agencies that prevents the use of any of those funds in jurisdictions out of compliance with federal immigration laws.
In their request, the representatives cite the tragic 2015 murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco and last month’s gruesome gang rape of a 14-year old girl in a Maryland high school’s bathroom. In both cases, the alleged perpetrators are illegal aliens who escaped deportation, despite having been detained on multiple occasions, due to lax enforcement of federal immigration law.
The congressmen involved have a long history of standing against sanctuary cities and have proposed similar legislation in the past. In light of Sessions’s own pronouncements and a strong focus on the issue from the Administration, however, Tuesday’s proposal holds a new significance.
“The concept of ‘sanctuary city’ policies is in direct opposition to the Rule of Law,” Rep. Goser said in a press release accompanying the request.“I’m pleased to see President Trump and Attorney General Sessions lead on this issue, but the House must also act by using the power of the purse.”
Rep. King pointed directly to the contrast with the past administration. “The lawlessness of the Obama Administration has trickled down to at least 340 local so-called ‘sanctuary’ jurisdictions that openly defy federal law and release dangerous criminals,” he said. “It is time Congress acts to protect Americans from 100% preventable crimes, and we can start by enforcing our federal immigration laws.”