Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said on Friday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) should bring legislation that he and other Republicans introduced last June that would allow victims of criminal illegal aliens and their families in so-called sanctuary cities to sue those jurisdictions for damages.
“It sits on Mitch McConnell’s desk,” King said. “Whether they have the votes or whether they don’t I would call on Mitch McConnell — put it on the floor. Let America know where they stand.”
“If we are willing to accept sanctuary cities, we’re also willing to accept the defiance of the Constitution of the United States and federal law,” King said.
Breitbart News asked King about the bill at a rally outside the Capitol put on by Angel Families, an organization made up of families of Americans who have been killed by illegal aliens.
King introduced Iowan Michelle Root, co-founder of Angel Families, whose daughter was killed by a drunk-driving illegal alien 24 hours after she graduated from college and vowed to help Americans like her that have suffered this kind of tragedy.
King said the legislation, co-authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), would provide help by giving standing to victims and their families through lawsuits challenging sanctuary city policies for harming American citizens.
“That makes the people that make these [sanctuary city] decisions personally liable for those decisions,” King told Breitbart News.
Goodlatte referred to Sarah Root when he introduced the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act (HR 3003) and the associated Sarah and Grant’s Law, “which ensures unlawful immigrants convicted of drunk driving or arrested for other dangerous crimes are detained during their removal proceedings.”
In January 2015, Grant Ronnebeck was murdered at a convenience store by a convicted felon who was free on bond while facing deportation.
“For years, the lack of immigration enforcement and the spread of dangerous sanctuary policies have failed the American people and cost too many lives,” Goodlatte said when the bill was introduced last summer. “The deaths of innocent Americans, such as Kate Steinle, Sarah Root, Grant Ronnebeck, and too many others, are tragic.
“Their deaths are especially devastating since they could have been prevented if our immigration laws had been enforced,” Goodlatte said.
The main bill “clarifies U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer authority – the tool used by federal immigration enforcement officers to pick up criminal aliens from local jails – by establishing statutory probable cause standards to issue detainers for the first time. It also withholds certain federal grants from jurisdictions that violate federal law by prohibiting their officers from communicating with ICE. The bill protects jurisdictions that comply with detainers from being sued while allowing victims of crime to sue jurisdictions that refuse to comply and subsequently release criminal aliens onto the streets.”
The trio of lawmakers also introduced Kate’s Law (H.R. 3004) last summer, which “protects public safety by enhancing penalties for deported felons who return to the United States.”
That bill, which was also passed by the House but is awaiting a vote in the Senate, is named after Kate Steinle, who was killed in San Francisco in 2015 by an illegal alien who had previously been deported five times and was convicted of multiple felonies.
‘We cannot have local jurisdictions defying federal law,” King said. “There needs to be a remedy.”
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter