Johnson Comments on Bill to Stop Sanctuary Cities

WASHINGTON — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, made these remarks today after Senate Democrats blocked a bill that would make families and communities safer by redirecting federal funding away from sanctuary states and cities that fail to detain illegal aliens, to states and localities that follow the law. 

“As chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I have focused on ensuring that our borders are secure and that our communities are safe,” said Sen. Johnson. “At a recent committee hearing, an official from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) testified that the agency was unable to deport the man who went on to kill Kate Steinle because San Francisco did not honor the ICE detainer.  In fact, the criminal alien admitted that he went to San Francisco because of its lenient immigration enforcement policies. Sanctuary jurisdictions that do not cooperate with the enforcement of federal immigration laws or do not honor federal immigration detainers should not receive federal funding. Moreover, liability protection must be provided to jurisdictions that honor federal detainers and hold aliens until ICE can pick them up, as recent court decisions have led many jurisdictions to release criminal aliens due to liability concerns.  The Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act provides these important reforms, making communities safer and bringing the country closer to a secure border. It is disappointing that Democrats prevented the Senate from even considering this important legislation.” 

In addition to Sen. Johnson, other original cosponsors of the bill, introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), include Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). 

The legislation is supported by National Association of Police Organizations, the National Sheriffs Association, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the International Union of Police Associations, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).