United States House Republicans have passed legislation that would deny federal funds to sanctuary cities. The bill, passed 241-179, would withhold certain federal law enforcement grants to cities that have policies designed to shelter illegal immigrants from deportation.
Sanctuary cities have come under heavy scrutiny in the wake of Kathryn Steinle’s death on July 1 in San Francisco.
Critics of the sanctuary laws say such policies encourage people to immigrate to the U.S. illegally at the expense of citizens.
Democrats accused House Republicans of bringing up the bill in part because of real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s focus on illegal immigration and sanctuary cities; they dubbed the bill the “Donald Trump Act.”
“Just a few weeks into his campaign and Donald Trump has a bill on the floor of the House. That is better than some of the senators he’s running against.” Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) said mockingly.
Republicans denied that Trump had any influence on their decision to bring up the legislation.
Five Republicans joined all but six Democrats in opposing the measure. The five Republicans who voted against the bill were Reps. Carlos Curbelo (Fla.), Bob Dold (Ill.), Dan Donovan (N.Y.), Pete King (N.Y.) and Dave Reichert (Wash.).
Six Democrats voted for the bill, in a break from previous immigration votes in which the party voted unanimously. The Democrats voting yes were centrist Reps. Ami Bera (Calif.), Jim
The sanctuary city debate centers on laws that are aimed at encouraging illegal immigrants to report crimes to the police without fear of deportation.
A coalition of 21 big-city mayors criticized the House bill and warned that cutting off federal law enforcement grants would weaken public safety efforts.
The White House has threatened to veto the legislation, saying the proposal “undermines current administration efforts to remove the most dangerous convicted criminals” and doesn’t enact comprehensive immigration reform.
Is Donald Trump already having an effect in the House before being elected?
News Culled from the Hill, USA.