News Worms
News Worms


What is Kate's Law? The Immigration Legislation Could Alter US Policy

What is Kate's Law? The Immigration Legislation Could Alter US Policy

One bill would strip federal dollars from self-proclaimed "sanctuary" cities that shield residents from federal immigration authorities, while a separate measure would stiffen punishments for people who re-enter the US illegally.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters earlier this week that the bill's aim of cracking down on state and local governments for releasing illegal immigrants earlier than officially permitted would make the jobs of local law enforcement more hard. The bills we passed today are for the families of these victims - and many others across the country who have experienced a similar, preventable tragedy. It is named after Kathryn Steinle, who was shot and killed in San Francisco in 2015 by a man who was in the country illegally. "Or is the objective of our government to protect felons who have entered our country illegally, broken our laws and threatened our people?"

The "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act" would expand what is required of cities regarding federal immigrant enforcement and allow the government to deny jurisdictions federal law enforcement funds if they don't comply.

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.

Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy and campaigns at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), argued that contrary to the claims of the Trump administration, "Kate's Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act will make our communities less safe by undermining the trust that law enforcement builds with its communities-citizen and immigrant alike".

During the meeting, family members of individuals who were murdered by illegal immigrants told their personal stories and urged Congress to pass the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act and Kate's Law.

Check back for updates on this developing story. The goal of Kate's law is to criminalize undocumented immigrants.

A separate measure would strip federal dollars from "sanctuary" cities that shield residents from federal immigration authorities.

Critics say the bills could hurt efforts of cities to get immigrants to collaborate with state and local law enforcement.

In an op-ed this week pushing for both bills, Sessions doubled down on his condemnation of sanctuary cities. A separate measure would stiffen punishments for people who re-enter the US illegally.

However, before the bills go to Trump, the Senate needs to approve them.

"The practices of these jurisdictions are not only contrary to sound policy; they're contrary to the law enforcement cooperation that is carried out every day in our country and is essential to public safety", he wrote.

"For six years, we have been just getting by - cutting resources as the world becomes more unsafe, asking more and more of those who serve, and putting off the tough choices", said Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, the House committee's chairman.

Lawmakers supporting the legislation, a lot of them Republicans, warned of threats to public safety and national security posed by immigration problems.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Ryan Kelly also spoke at Thursday's press conference, representing the Trump administration's hardline stance on immigration enforcement. "She deserved that", said Michelle Wilson-Root, who recently started the group Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime.

Hoyer said the GOP proposal has flaws -- particularly as it relates to those immigrants seeking asylum -- and he lamented the closed process that prevents Democrats from offering amendments.

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