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The House passed legislation (H.R. 3009) that would block certain federal funds to jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, and would authorize the Department of Justice (DOJ) to block policing grants to localities that similarly adopt sanctuary policies. The legislation is weaker than that the House passed earlier this year and does not address the Obama Administration’s sanctuary policies, such as the mass release criminal aliens.

The 241-179 vote came shortly after the families of victims murdered by illegal aliens testified before both chambers on the need to reign in sanctuary policies. The bill might help in a case like the murder of Kate Steinle, where the San Francisco's sheriff prohibited his deputies from communicating with ICE over the release of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, but it would not help prevent a murder like Grant Ronnebeck's, where ICE released Apolinar Altamirano even though he was considered a threat to public safety.

The bill is weaker that one the House approved earlier this year that would have required DOJ to block policing grants to sanctuary cities. It’s also weaker that Davis-Oliver Act (S.1640/H.R.1148), which would go beyond simply ending sanctuary cities by adding more measures to strengthen the enforcement of federal immigration laws and prevent foreign citizens who pose a threat to public safety from entering the country in the first place.

All but five Republicans supported the measure -- Reps. Carlos Curbelo (Fla.), Bob Dold (Ill.), Dan Donovan (N.Y.), Pete King (N.Y.) and Dave Reichert (Wash.) – while all but six Democrats opposed it - Reps. Ami Bera (Calif.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Bill Keating (Mass.), Collin Peterson (Minn.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.).

The White House threatened to veto the legislation, claiming it “undermines current administration efforts to remove the most dangerous convicted criminals.” A spokeman there also blamed Republicans for the deaths described by the victim’s families, citing their failure to enact so-called comprehensive immigration reform.

Read more in The Hill.

sanctuary cities
Interior Enforcement
National Security

Updated: Thu, Aug 6th 2015 @ 6:00pm EDT