House GOP tar­gets il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion

Lodi News-Sentinel - - Nation - By Matthew Daly

WASH­ING­TON — Warn­ing of threats to pub­lic safety and na­tional se­cu­rity, the Repub­li­can-led House on Thurs­day ap­proved two bills to crack down on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion, a key pri­or­ity for Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

One bill would strip fed­eral dol­lars from self-pro­claimed “sanc­tu­ary” cities that shield res­i­dents from fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties, while a sep­a­rate mea­sure would stiffen pun­ish­ments for peo­ple who re-en­ter the U.S. il­le­gally.

The sanc­tu­ary mea­sure was ap­proved 228-195, while the bill to pun­ish de­por­tees was ap­proved 257-167. Three Democrats joined all but seven Repub­li­cans to pass the sanc­tu­ary mea­sure, while 24 Democrats backed the de­por­tee bill. Rep. Justin Amash of Michi­gan was the only Repub­li­can who op­posed the de­por­tee bill.

The bills now go to the Se­nate.

Trump, who of­ten railed against il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion dur­ing his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, hailed pas­sage of the House bills and urged the Se­nate to act “save Amer­i­can lives.” Trump met at the White House this week with more than a dozen fam­ily mem­bers of those killed by peo­ple in the coun­try il­le­gally.

“Op­pos­ing these bills, and al­low­ing dan­ger­ous crim­i­nals back into our com­mu­ni­ties, our schools and the neigh­bor­hoods where our chil­dren play, puts all of us at risk,” Trump said.

One of the bills, known as “Kate’s Law,” would im­pose harsher prison sen­tences on de­por­tees who re-en­ter the United States. The bill is named af­ter 32-year old Kathryn Steinle, who was shot and killed in San Fran­cisco in 2015 by a man who was in the coun­try il­le­gally. Juan Fran­cisco LopezSanchez, who pleaded not guilty to the crime, had been re­leased by sher­iff’s of­fi­cials months ear­lier de­spite a re­quest by im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials to keep him be­hind bars.

The sec­ond bill would bar states and lo­cal­i­ties that refuse to co­op­er­ate with im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties from re­ceiv­ing cer­tain Jus­tice Depart­ment and Home­land Se­cu­rity grants, in­clud­ing some re­lated to law en­force­ment and ter­ror­ism.

Democrats said the bills were feel-good mea­sures in­tended to make law­mak­ers look tough on crime.

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