S. 2146 is long overdue legislation to punish sanctuary cities for disobeying federal immigration laws and deter illegal immigrants from re-entering the country unlawfully. At present, there are approximately 340 localities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Over just a nine-month period in 2014, sanctuary cities released 9,295 criminal aliens that were being sought by ICE, many of whom were violent and dangerous. A large percentage of these criminals were subsequently caught committing more crimes. This bill would punish these local jurisdictions by cutting off a couple of federal law enforcement grants administered by the Department of Justice as well as access to community development block grants (CDBGs) doled out by HUD. Those funds would then be redistributed to the local jurisdictions that cooperate with federal immigration officials as required by law (8 U.S.C. § 1373). Further, in response to the growing epidemic of criminal aliens re-entering the country multiple times after being deported, this bill prescribes mandatory minimum sentencing for illegal re-entrants. The Constitution vests the federal government with broad power over immigration in order to protect our sovereignty as a nation and prevent individual states from endangering the rest of the country with invidious open border policies. At a time when this administration is punishing states like Arizona for following federal immigration law, it’s high time Congress force them to punish localities that thwart this federal power. It should be noted, however, that given Obama’s new ‘sanctuary nation’ policy whereby his administration has prohibited ICE from issuing detainers on most illegal aliens housed in local prisons, this bill does not absolve Congress from defunding Obama’s illegal amnesty on a national level, which is upstream from the problem of sanctuary cities. The bill was unfortunately rejected on October 20, 2015 in a roll call vote of 54-45.
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Conservative position: YES