Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement Wednesday urging members of the House of Representatives to pass two bills designed to crack down on illegal immigration.
Both HR 3004, commonly known as Kate’s Law, and HR 3003, the No Sanctuaries for Criminals Act, were scheduled to be considered in the House Wednesday. Both laws seek to crack down on illegal alien criminality, a central policy aim of Sessions’s Department of Justice.
Kate’s Law increases penalties for those illegally re-entering the United States, especially those, like the killer of the law’s namesake Kate Steinle, who racked up criminal records before being deported.
HR 3003 seeks to reign in so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions by prohibiting them from preventing their own officials and law enforcement officers from inquiring about prisoners’ immigration status and reporting that information to the federal government. It also adds congressional backing to efforts by the Justice Department to limit federal grant money to jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement
In his statement in support of both bills, Attorney General Sessions wrote:
Countless families and communities have suffered as a result of these ‘sanctuary’ policies, which undermine federal law by safeguarding criminal illegal aliens from federal law enforcement. One victim of these policies was Kate Steinle, who was killed by an illegal alien who had been deported five times and yet still walked the streets freely. Her death was preventable, and she would still be alive today if only the City of San Francisco had put the public’s safety first. How many more Americans must die before we put an end to this madness?
Americans demand that these ‘sanctuary cities’ stop protecting criminals and start protecting law-abiding residents from danger. It should come as no surprise that a Harvard University report found that 80 percent of Americans believe that cities that arrest illegal aliens for crimes should be required to turn them over to federal immigration officials.
The statement did not make mention of the much more comprehensive Davis-Oliver immigration bill introduced last month and seen on White House Chief Strategist and former Breitbart News Chairman Steve Bannon’s now-famous white board of promises. Sessions himself introduced an earlier version of that bill in 2015.
There had been speculation that Davis-Oliver would be moved toward a vote along with HR 3003 and 3004. In his statement Tuesday introducing the new organization Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) called progress on Davis Oliver “around the corner,” and listed it as a promise of the Trump administration’s immigration policy.
Sessions’s statement, however, focused only on these two more narrow measures now being considered:
Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act would penalize criminal illegal aliens who break our laws and the jurisdictions that attempt to shield them from justice. These bills can restore sanity and common-sense to our system by ending abusive attempts to undermine federal law, and they can prevent future tragedies by empowering law enforcement.
I urge the House of Representatives to put the American people first before another family loses their child.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) indicated both bills would come to a vote before the end of the week in a Tuesday tweet:
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) June 27, 2017