The U.S. House of Representatives has passed "Kate's Law", a bill inspired by the 2015 shooting death of Pleasanton native Kathryn "Kate" Steinle on a San Francisco pier by an oft-deported undocumented immigrant with a history of criminal convictions. The bill enhances penalties for convicted and deported criminals who reenter the United States illegally.
A White House-backed bill that's expected to pass the U.S. House today would strip sanctuary cities of federal grants - putting Boston and at least four other MA communities that have officially voiced solidarity with illegal immigrants in danger of losing millions in federal funds.
President Trump on Thursday applauded the votes by the House, and urged the Senate to follow suit. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), would also allow victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants the ability to sue sanctuary cities if they "released the alien from custody prior to the commission of such crime as a outcome of the State or political subdivision's declining to honor a detainer".
The House passed legislation on Thursday to crack down on illegal immigration and enact a key priority of President Trump's known as "Kate's Law".
"Opposing these bills, and allowing risky criminals back into our communities, our schools, and the neighborhoods where our children play, puts all of us at risk", stated Trump.
While both bills are likely to pass in the House, it is unclear what fate awaits this legislation in the U.S. Senate.
The bills were celebrated by Republicans as supporting law and order, while Democrats called them racist and counterproductive.
During his floor remarks, Barletta discussed meeting the family of Derek Kichline, a 29-year-old father of three young children who in 2006 was murdered while working on his truck in Hazleton by an illegal immigrant who had been released by law enforcement a number of times, including by the sanctuary city of NY. The man charged in her murder, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, was a seven-time felon who had been deported to Mexico five times. After his release he was shipped to the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, which had an outstanding warrant on him for selling marijuana.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Ryan Kelly also spoke at Thursday's press conference, representing the Trump administration's hardline stance on immigration enforcement.
Last year, a version of Kate's Law failed on a vote of 55-42. We're taking action to protect Americans & enforce the law.
Trump has put an emphasis on rooting out criminal immigrants from the US since he's been in office, ramping up immigration enforcement capabilities under two executive orders, though the enforcement has made all undocumented immigrants vulnerable to action. Both pieces of legislation have yet to go through the Senate.The first bill will withhold some Federal funds from so-called "sanctuary cities". It is a bait-and-switch strategy: "Use a awful tragedy to sell a policy that would not have prevented that death, so that you put more immigrants in jail for longer periods of time".
The bill would also allow federal authorities to refuse to transfer individuals into state or local custody if a state or locality is not in compliance with the No Sanctuary Act.