House passes bills punishing sanctuary cities, undocumented immigrants

Trump meets with victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants while Congress passes a law that intensifies the penalties for deportees returning to the country. EFE  Molly Riley

Trump meets with victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants while Congress passes a law that intensifies the penalties for deportees returning to the country. EFE Molly Riley

The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which aims to pressure so-called sanctuary cities into full cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, passed 228 to 195, with support from most Republicans and three Democrats. Representative Bob Goodlatte, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, which submitted both bills for consideration, is an advocate of strict immigration controls.

Congress is working with the Trump Administration to crack down on sanctuary cities and keep Americans safe, U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-Ala.) said Tuesday. Goodnow also said that even if the law were passed, its fight would be "far from over". The bill's namesake is Kate Steinle, who was brutally murdered in San Francisco by an illegal alien with seven convictions and five deportations under his belt.

FAIR supports the Davis-Oliver Act and continues to fight for its consideration on the House floor.

The acting director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Wednesday appeared to undercut his boss, President Trump, on the same day Trump was touting two immigration bills meant to close "dangerous loopholes exploited by criminals".

Federal immigration authorities asked the sheriff's department to detain Lopez-Sanchez until they could pick him up.

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It also requires that localities comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests to detain suspects for extra time, since some jurisdictions now don't always cooperate.

In late spring, freed from custody and in San Francisco, Lopez-Sanches stole a.40-caliber pistol from an unlocked auto belonging to U.S. Bureau of Land Management office, leading to his shooting Steinle at Pier 14 two years ago by a repeat felon who had been deported several times before illegal reentry. In a post on the right-leaning Cato Institute's website, the think-tank's immigration policy analyst David Bier described the "No Sanctuary" bill as anti-federalist and said parts of it pose a threat to state sovereignty.

During a speech at the Energy Department on Thursday, Trump said that if the bills were sent to his desk, he would "give them the fastest approval, the fastest signature, that you have ever seen".

"I knew Kate Steinle growing up and remain in touch with her family, who live in my congressional district", the Dublin Democrat said.

The bills still need to be approved by the Senate, where many analysts believe both will be defeated.

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That idea was vindicated this week as the Supreme Court let most of President Trump's temporary restrictions on Muslim immigrants from six Middle Eastern nations go into effect - despite lower-court rulings by Obama-appointed judges in California, Hawaii, Washington and Maryland that Trump's temporary travel ban discriminated against Muslims. Lopez-Sanchez had just finished a almost four-year federal prison sentence for illegally reentering the country.

Republicans say these bills are restoring the rule of law. Provisions of the bill, requiring pretrial detention for illegal immigrants who kill, are named "Sarah's Law".

Trump also celebrated the bills' passage after tweeting on Thursday, "Good news, House just passed #KatesLaw". John Conyers (D-Mich.), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, said the offense would also apply to people who request entry because they are seeking protection from sex trafficking or persecution, or those who ask for humanitarian parole to donate organs to relatives who are USA citizens.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday it's time for sanctuary cities, as well as Congress, to stop playing games with people's safety.

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