DeMint: End Sanctuary City Policies that Encourage Illegal Immigration
Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) cosponsored an amendment to the Commerce and Justice appropriations bill that seeks to end "sanctuary city" policies in municipalities that bar law enforcement officials from asking suspects about their immigration status or reporting them to Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE).
"Sanctuary cities completely undermine our border security because they are powerful magnets for illegal immigrants," said Senator DeMint. "Americans have loudly rejected amnesty and demand that our immigration laws are enforced. Cities and politicians that create these local amnesty policies are weakening the meaning of American citizenship and mocking those who wait for years to enter our nation legally. It's time to end sanctuary cities and stop forcing law-abiding taxpayers to fund cities that weaken our security by ignoring the law."
In 1996, Congress passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) which requires local governments to cooperate with DHS. Despite this rule, cities around the United States have specifically prohibited their law enforcement to ask or inquire about a person's immigration status when they have probable cause to believe that a person is in the U.S. illegally. In certain cities, a person can be charged with unrelated crimes and even tried without the local authorities ever inquiring about whether the person is in the U.S. legally.
The amendment, authored by U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-Louisana), would withhold funds from the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant program to be awarded to sanctuary cities. The COPS program awards grants to state and local law enforcement agencies to help law enforcement agencies implement and enhance community policing.