President Trump Calls on Congress to Pass Bills Aimed at Undocumented Immigrants

President Trump Calls on Congress to Pass Bills Aimed at Undocumented Immigrants

Riverside County congressional representatives were divided today on bills approved by the U.S. House of Representatives seeking to stiffen penalties for previously deported immigrants living in the country illegally who commit crimes, and to suspend federal grants to jurisdictions with "sanctuary" policies.

The legilsation is named after Kathryn Steinle who was shot and killed in 2015 in San Francisco by Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, a repeat felon and undocumented immigrant from Mexico who was deported several times. The bill enhances penalties for convicted and deported criminals who reenter the United States illegally.

Johnson also said Kate's Law "would waste American taxpayer funds by imposing severe prison sentences" for illegal aliens who have already been deported from the US, but continue returning illegally.

A second bill, "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act", would bar states and localities that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities from receiving certain Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security grants, including some related to law enforcement and terrorism.

In the final vote before Congress adjourns for the July 4 recess, House Republicans advanced the "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act" and "Kate's Law".

Key sponsor and GOP Representative Bob Goodlatte emphasized that the bill would be a boon to public safety.

"We are protecting the freedoms of law-abiding Americans, and we are going after the criminal gangs and cartels that prey on our innocent citizens", President Trump said in a statement.

He is hailing passage of the House bills and urging the Senate to act "save American lives". But they don't. Mostly, Republicans voted yes, and Democrats no.

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Democrats and human rights advocates warned that the bill could lead to prosecution even of asylum seekers who present themselves at the border ― something that is not now illegal ― after being previously deported.

Trump has blamed the death of Steinle on San Francisco's policies, namely its status as a "sanctuary city", which provide safe havens for undocumented immigrants. He reportedly told authorities that he had intentionally settled in San Francisco because it was a "sanctuary city".

No Sanctuary for Criminals Act will cut federal grant money to cities that "shield unsafe criminal aliens from being turned over to federal law enforcement".

Kate's Law has been passed by the House before, but it stalled in the Senate during the last Congress, where its provisions were subject to a 60-vote threshold, which Republicans couldn't meet among their Democratic colleagues.

"It is beyond my comprehension why federal, state, and local officials sworn to enforce the laws of the nation as I am would actively discourage or outright prevent law enforcement agencies from upholding the laws of the United States", Kelly said.

With the health care bill on hold, the administration quickly pivoted to immigration, pressuring lawmakers to pass the House bills. It is staffed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees. With the current estimated 12 to 30 million illegal aliens living in the USA, immigration lawyers collect fees, payments and receive city funds for defending border-crossers from deportation.

Earlier versions of the bills failed to pass in the Senate.

"Both President Trump and his Texas look-alike Governor Greg Abbott want to deny funds and intimidate local governments who rightfully refuse to place politics over public safety", Doggett said.

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