The Senate blocked Sen. David Vitter's (R-La.) S.2146, the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act, today that would have cut off funding for sanctuary jurisdictions. The bill failed despite getting support from a majority of Senators, 54-to-45, but failed to reach the 60 needed votes to come to the floor for debate.
The vote was split across party lines with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) joining most Republicans in support of the motion to proceed, while Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) voted with most Democrats against the motion. Presidential Hopeful, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), was the only senator not to vote.
The vote comes three months after the tragic shooting of Kate Steinle by an five-time deported illegal alien brought national attention to the threat to public safety posed by sanctuary jurisdictions. There are 340 jurisdictions in the U.S. that ignore ICE requests to hold or notify the agency about the release of criminal aliens.
The House and Senate have yet to come to an agreement on how to deal with jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials. The House passed a similar but weaker bill this summer.
"Americans are tired of seeing their laws flouted and their communities plagued by the horrible crime that typically accompanies illegal immigration," said presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, on the Senate floor Tuesday. "But for too long, the pleas of the American people on this issue have gone unheeded here in Washington."
Sen. Vitter’s bill would have:
- Blocked certain federal grants to sanctuary jurisdictions and reallocate those funds to jurisdictions that cooperate with ICE
- Required the Department of Homeland Security to compile and make public a list of sanctuary jurisdictions
- Protected local police from lawsuits while they carry out ICE detainer requests
- Increased penalties for illegal re-entry, including mandatory 5-year sentencing for certain serious and repeat offenders
We sent out a scoring notice to all Senate offices in advance of the vote notifying them that the vote will be scored on our Immigration-Reduction Grade Cards.
"It is long past time for Congress to act in stopping wholly preventable crimes committed by criminal aliens," the scoring notice said. "NumbersUSA is committed to ensuring that Americans know where their Senators stand on protecting communities from violent criminal aliens who should have been removed from the United States before they victimize more innocent people."
You can view the roll call here.
Updated: Tue, Nov 3rd 2015 @ 4:05pm EST