Daines Condemns Senate Dems’ Refusal to Allow Consideration of Sanctuary Cities Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Steve Daines today expressed his disappointment after Senate Democrats failed to allow consideration of commonsense legislation that would withhold certain federal funding from cities who deliberately protect illegal immigrants by refusing to cooperate with immigration services:

“It is infuriating that Senate Democrats blocked thoughtful and meaningful debate on legislation that goes after real criminals who are not only in the United States illegally, but continuously violate the laws of our nation or repeatedly reenter the country after being deported. Allowing a city to ignore federal immigration statutes while providing a safe haven for criminals who violate our nation’s laws is an egregious degradation of the rule of law. It is disappointing that bipartisan cooperation could not be reached on critical legislation that would help protect the safety and security of innocent Americans.”

A sanctuary jurisdiction is a state or locality that forbids its local law enforcement from:

  • Sharing information with federal immigration officials,
  • Complying with an immigration detainer.

The Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act cuts off certain federal funding and forces these once-sanctuary cities to comply with immigration services, while increasing the penalty for illegal immigrants re-entering the country.

The legislation includes “Kate’s Law,” which provides a five year mandatory minimum sentence for any illegal immigrant who re-enters the U.S after having been convicted of an aggravated felony or after having been twice convicted of illegally re-entering the U.S.

Kate’s law is named after Kate Steinle, who was killed this summer on a San Francisco pier as she was walking with her father. The shooter was an illegal immigrant who had previously been convicted of seven felonies and deported five times. Just three months earlier, the Department of Homeland Security had asked San Francisco police to hold this man until they could pick him up, but the city refused to cooperate and instead released the shooter, in line with its sanctuary policy. 

The legislation is endorsed by the National Association of Police Organizations, National Sheriffs’ Association, International Union of Police Association (AFL-CIO), Numbers USA, FAIR and Center for Immigration Studies, the Remembrance Project as well as numerous families of victims.