House vote on Kate's Law part of illegal-alien crackdown
- Author: Ismael Montgomery Jul 01, 2017,
Jul 01, 2017, 0:11
That's why this week the House is taking up legislation to crack down on sanctuary cities and increase penalties for illegal immigrants who persist in breaking our laws. Kathryn Steinle was shot to death on Pier 14 on July 1 as she walked with her father.
"Kate's Law" is named for Kate Steinle, a young woman murdered on a busy walkway in San Francisco two years ago allegedly by an undocumented immigrant who was deported multiple times. "Just eleven weeks before the shooting, San Francisco had released Sanchez from its custody, even though ICE had filed a detainer requesting that he be kept in custody until immigration authorities could pick him up for removal", Sessions said in March.
During a roundtable at the White House on Wednesday with family members of those killed by undocumented immigrants, Trump talked about the importance of "Kate's Law".
Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a Mexican national with seven felony convictions and who had been deported five times but had returned to the United States, killed Miss Steinle.
Prevents states and localities who refuse to comply with federal law and cooperate with immigration authorities from receiving certain Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Grants.
Republicans relentlessly hammered a message of restoring "rule of law" Wednesday and Thursday leading up to the vote, highlighting crimes committed by undocumented immigrants and attacking sanctuary cities for lax policies they blame for the crimes.
In addition to Kate's Law, the House also passed a companion piece of legislation called the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which would cut federal funds for sanctuary cities. "Today is when we go back and we state these are the laws".
As Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times noted this week, "federal judges remain major stumbling blocks to (Trump's) aggressive immigration plans, with courts from California to MI and Atlanta limiting his crackdown on sanctuary cities and stopping him from deporting illegal immigrants he has targeted for removal".
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The bills passed largely on party lines, including among San Diego House members. Both the bills are backed by the White House.
Under Kate's Law, an undocumented immigrant previously convicted of a crime who attempts to reenter the country could face up between 10 and 25 years in prison.
Speaking on the House floor ahead of the vote, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) called the legislation "dangerous" and "anti-immigrant", and charged that the bills "perpetuate the fiction that immigrants are somehow inherently criminal".
Trump, who often railed against illegal immigration during his presidential campaign, is hailing passage of the House bills and urging the Senate to act "save American lives".
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. The Trump administration warned nine jurisdictions in late April that they could lose coveted law enforcement grant money unless they document cooperation.
Democrats say the bills paint all immigrants as criminals and scapegoats, and that immigrants here illegally would refuse to report crimes or cooperate with police if they feared deportation. Representative Bob Goodlatte, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, which submitted both bills for consideration, is an advocate of strict immigration controls.
If the bills make it through the Senate intact, the President promises to sign them "quickly", which will hasten a showdown with California, the state that prides itself on being the epicenter of resistance to Trump. Under the bill, people could be sentenced to up to 25 years if they reentered the US after being convicted of certain crimes, some of them immigration-related.