House Republicans passed two major reforms Thursday targeting criminal aliens in so-called “sanctuary cities.” Both bills were inspired by crimes committed in California, and both will impact California more than any other state.
On bill, “Kate’s Law” — named for Kate Steinle. cut down in the prime of her life by an illegal alien with multiple felonies and deportations — increases the penalty for illegal aliens who attempt to return to the U.S. after being deported.
The second bill, the “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act,” cuts off grant money to cities that enact polices prohibiting police from turning over dangerous criminal aliens to federal immigration authorities.
Both bills passed, and were applauded by President Donald Trump.
In a statement , President Donald Trump noted that the bills in the package were “named for slain Americans, whose parents I spent time with during the campaign.”
President Trump also condemned American cities that choose to act as sanctuaries for dangerous criminal aliens — which includes most major cities in California, as the state’s Democrats seek to make the entire state a sanctuary. “Sanctuary cities are releasing violent criminals, including members of the bloodthirsty MS-13 gang, back onto our streets every single day. Innocent Americans are suffering unthinkable violence as a result of these cities’ reckless actions,” Trump said.
According to a Berkeley IGS Poll conducted in March, sanctuary cities are not nearly as popular in California as Democrat politicians think. The poll found that by a slim majority, Californians oppose cities and counties flouting federal law by refusing to cooperate with federal authorities.
The Trump administration is expending a great deal of political capital in order to keep faith with the voters on the issue.
“The word ‘sanctuary’ calls to mind someplace safe, but too often for families and victims affected by illegal immigrant crime, sanctuary cities are anything but safe,” Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly reportedly asserted in the pre-vote press conference, according to a Fox News report.
“It is beyond my comprehension why federal state and local officials … would actively discourage or outright prevent law enforcement agencies from upholding the laws of the United States,” he reportedly added.
Trump urged the House and the Senate to “to honor grieving American families,” including Californian Jamiel Shaw, Sr., whose 17-year old son, Jamiel, was shot dead a few doors down from the family home in South Central Los Angeles by a previously deported MS-13 gang member.
If the bills make it through the Senate intact, the President promises to sign them “quickly,” which will hasten a showdown with California, the state that prides itself on being the epicenter of resistance to Trump.
At the moment, a U.S. District Court judge in San Francisco has blocked the wholesale withholding of “federal funds” to “sanctuary cities” until a federal lawsuit makes its way through the courts. At stake are billions of dollars in federal grants and matching funds to the nation’s most populous state.
That has not deterred the president, who highlighted other cases Wednesday during a White House meeting with over a dozen families of people who had been victimized by criminal aliens.
“I promise you, it will be done quickly. You don’t have to wait the mandatory period. It will be very quick,” Trump promised.
Tim Donnelly is a former California State Assemblyman and author, currently on a book tour for his new book: Patriot Not Politician: Win or Go Homeless. He ran for governor in 2014.
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