(Washington, D.C.) Representative Charlie Dent (PA-15) released the following statement today regarding his vote for H.R. 3009, the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act. This bill targets state and local governments that have laws, policies or procedures in effect that limit the enforcement of federal immigration laws or that prevent state or local law enforcement officers from requesting information regarding immigration status from federal immigration authorities. It bars these states or municipalities from receiving federal funds under the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (JAG). The bill passed the House.
Dent Statement: “There are nearly 300 municipalities or jurisdictions across the country that have decided to pick and choose what federal immigration laws to obey. Sadly, the results of their decisions in several instances have resulted in death and suffering inflicted on innocent individuals.
We saw this tragedy play out recently in San Francisco, where an unlawful immigrant with a long felony arrest record is suspected of having murdered 32 year-old Kathryn Steinle while she was walking with her family.
‘Sanctuary city’ policies were also behind a 2009 tragedy in Newark, New Jersey where three young adults were gruesomely executed in a local schoolyard. One of the defendants arrested in that triple homicide was unlawfully in the United States and had earlier been indicted on felony child abuse (31 counts) and aggravated assault charges. He had been released from jail on a $150,000 bond. Newark at the time had a policy of not inquiring about a defendant's immigration status.
Enough is enough. The law is the law. If interior enforcement is ever to be effective, there must be strong cooperation between state and local law enforcement agencies and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. If misguided elected officials refuse to assist federal law enforcement, they should not be rewarded.”
A recent studied showed that in 2014 the majority (63%) of those illegal immigrants released due to ‘sanctuary city’ policies already had a felony arrest record. Further, of those released 1900 were later arrested again for committing further crimes totaling nearly an additional 7500 criminal offenses.
Section 434 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-193) “bars state and local governments from imposing any prohibition or restriction on a state or local government entity that prevents it from sending or receiving information, to or from federal immigration authorities, regarding the immigration status of an individual.”
Section 642 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA; Division C of Public Law 104-208) “bars any restriction on a federal, state, or local governmental entity or official’s ability to send or receive information regarding ‘immigration or citizenship status’ to or from federal immigration authorities.” The section “further provides that no person or agency may prohibit a federal, state, or local government entity from (1) sending information regarding immigration status to, or requesting information from, federal immigration authorities; (2) maintaining information regarding immigration status; or (3) exchanging such information with any other federal, state, or local government entity.”
CONTACT: Shawn Millan (610) 770-3490