If any good can come from the tragic shooting of a San Francisco woman earlier this month at the hands of a five-times deported illegal alien, it's that Congress may finally take action to punish sanctuary jurisdictions that protect illegal aliens, including the federal government which has been releasing criminal aliens onto the streets.
The response has gotten confusing because at least a dozen bills have been offered in recent weeks to end sanctuary jurisdictions. They have all earned varying levels of attention, with the one pushed by Fox News' Bill O'Reilly getting the most attention even though it's not the best bill.
The bills differ in scope and effectiveness, allowing House and Senate leaders to pick and choose the bill they want to move. If recent history serves as a lesson, House and Senate leaders will choose the weakest possible bill to move even though a large majority of American voters are furious and want criminal aliens removed from the United States.
THE BEST BILL THAT NUMBERSUSA SUPPORTS
NumbersUSA supports passage of the Davis-Oliver Act introduced by Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (S.1640) and South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy (H.R.1148). It's named after Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver, two California deputy sheriffs who were murdered by illegal aliens. Among many other things, the bill would:
- Authorizes states and localities to enforce immigration laws (consistent with Federal law enforcement);
- Gives states access to federal programs to identify inadmissible and deportable aliens, and requires states to provide DHS with information on apprehended aliens who are suspected to be inadmissible or deportable;
- Directs DHS to provide grants to states to aid in the cost of enforcing immigration law;
- Provides for federal custody of apprehended aliens upon request of a state or local authority, and compensation for related incarceration and transportation;
- Directs DHS to continue and expand the Criminal Alien Program (identifies criminal aliens in correctional facilities, ensures they are not released, and removes them upon completion of their sentences). States that receive SCAAP funding must comply with the program;
- Authorizes states and localities to hold an alien for an additional period following completion of the alien’s prison sentence to determine inadmissibility/deportability or issue a detainer;
- Requires states and localities to notify the federal government of inadmissible and removable aliens and comply with federal information requests and detainers;
- Denies federal law enforcement assistance to sanctuary jurisdictions;
- Authorizes removal and denial of benefits to terrorists and gangs, and authorizes the denaturalization of terrorists;
- Expands the criminal grounds of inadmissibility and deportability;
- Revises and increases penalties for reentry of criminal offenders and those who reenter after repeated removal;
- Adds criminal penalties for unlawful presence in the U.S;
- Increases penalties for immigration fraud;
- Revises and improves the student visa program;
- Significantly improves and expands Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and provides all ICE enforcement agents and detention officers with arrest authority; and,
- Defunds President Obama’s executive amnesties.
The Sessions-Gowdy bills would go beyond simply ending sanctuary cities through additional measures to increase public safety as a whole. They would strengthen the enforcement of federal immigration laws, end benefits for known terrorists, and prevent foreign citizens who pose a threat to public safety from entering the country in the first place.
BILLS ADDRESSING ONLY SANCTUARY CITIES
None of the other bills, including the so-called "Kate's Law" pushed by O'Reilly, would do as much to make our communities safer. But more importantly, none of them, except for the Sessions-Gowdy bills, address the federal government's sanctuary policies. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has released nearly 70,000 convicted criminal aliens over the last two years. Only the Sessions-Gowdy bills would end this federal complicity.
Both Presidential Hopefuls Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have introduced sanctuary bills. The Cruz bill is similar to Kate's Law in that it would only imprison previously deported aliens that return to the U.S. It wouldn't require jurisdictions to notify ICE when they release criminal aliens from prison.
The Paul bill would only block funding to jurisdictions that don't cooperate with federal immigration agents, while allowing the federal government to continue its sanctuary policies.
Legislation has also been introduced by Rep. Scott Desjarlais (R-Tenn.), Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Penn.), Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), but all of these bills would only block funding to sanctuary jurisdictions without addressing the feds policies.
THE CLEAR ACT
The only bill that comes close to the effectiveness of the Davis-Oliver Act is Rep. Marsha Blackburn's (R-Tenn.) CLEAR Act. NumbersUSA has promoted this bill in past years, and it's still a good bill, but the Davis-Oliver Act is more thorough and incorporates almost all of the CLEAR Act's state and local enforcement provisions.
DAVIS-OLIVER BILL NEEDS MORE CO-SPONSORS
The Sessions version only has 5 cosponsors. The Gowdy version has more than 30 cosponsors and has already been approved by the House Judiciary Committee. Just this week, Reps. Dave Brat (R-Va.) and Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) added their names to the list of cosponsors, but both bills need a lot more support!
We have faxes posted to your Action Board urging your three Members of Congress to support the Davis-Oliver Act. Please send these faxes, and if you've already sent them, there's more you can do. Next Monday, please call your Members of Congress or contact them through Social Media. Let's do everything we can to help get the Davis-Oliver Act signed in to law!
CHRIS CHMIELENSKI is the Director of Content & Activism for NumbersUSA
Updated: Mon, Aug 3rd 2015 @ 9:30am EDT