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This week, House Republicans are scheduled to vote on H.R. 3003, the “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act”, and H.R. 3004, “Kate’s Law.” Both are anti-immigrant bills that endanger public safety and supercharge Trump’s mass deportation force. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) spoke out against the bills from the House floor this morning, and more than 400 state, local, and national immigrant, religious, and civil rights organizations have sent a letter to the House urging them to vote “no” on both bills.
The opposition doesn’t stop there. The Fraternal Order of Police (a major Trump supporter in 2016), the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force, the US Conference of Mayors, and more than 1000 faith leaders have all registered their disagreement with H.R. 3003 in particular, which would defund so-called “sanctuary cities” and take away law enforcement dollars if the Trump Administration believes that a jurisdiction is too friendly to immigrants.
As the letter from the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force reads:
Immigration enforcement is, first and foremost, a federal responsibility. Making our communities safer means better defining roles and improving relationships between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. But in attempting to defund “sanctuary cities” and require state and local law enforcement to carry out the federal government’s immigration enforcement responsibilities, the federal government would be substituting its judgment for the judgment of state and local law enforcement agencies. Local control has been a beneficial approach for law enforcement for decades – having the federal government compel state and local law enforcement to carry out new and sometimes problematic tasks undermines the delicate federal balance and will harm locally-based policing.
And here’s an except from the US Conference of Mayors, which represents over a thousand mayors who lead almost 150 million Americans:
H.R. 3003 is a bad bill for our cities and their residents and for our nation. It would jeopardize public safety, preempt local authority, and expose local governments to litigation and potential findings of damages. America’s mayors call on you to do the right thing and vote against H.R. 3003 when it is considered on the floor.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges you instead to focus on positive legislation that will fix our broken immigration system and make our cities safer. The nation’s mayors pledge to work with you on bipartisan immigration reform legislation that will fix our nation’s broken immigration system. We need to move beyond punitive bills like H.R. 3003 and develop an immigration system that works for our nation, our cities and our people.
Republicans usually love to extol local governments’ right and support for law enforcement officials. Why, then, are House Republicans preparing to pass two bills this week that would do the opposite? And will House Democrats know better than to support them?