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house Bill H.R. 3009

Should Cities That Give Sanctuary to Undocumented Immigrants Lose Federal Funding?

Argument in favor

Sanctuary cities encourage illegal immigration and endanger public safety by allowing undocumented people to stay in the country after being arrested for other crimes. Cities that refuse to enforce immigration laws shouldn’t get federal grant money.

Kathryn's Opinion
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07/23/2015
America can't afford to help its citizens so obviously we can no longer afford to aid foreign border crossers who break our laws to get in.
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Matthew's Opinion
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07/23/2015
It's outrageous for cities to break federal law and allow illegal immigrants to reside in their cities without fear of deportation. The impact these policies are devastating to the law-abiding citizens and legal residents of these cities.
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WiredPig's Opinion
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07/23/2015
I agree with a previous poster, federal funds are always tied to compliance with federal laws with the most notable being highway funds and the drinking age increase in the late 80's.
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Argument opposed

It's wrong to force communities to comply with immigration laws they don’t agree with. This bill threatens to erode community trust in law enforcement, and endanger public safety by holding federal law enforcement grants hostage.

Mcknightcm's Opinion
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07/23/2015
We need to find ways to give these immigrants an affordable pathway to citizenship.
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joshualogancook's Opinion
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07/23/2015
Withholding federal funds would result in insufficient police services instead of improving immigration issues. Punishment to the city would result in higher crime rates, which would result in more pressure on an then unfunded police department, creating a death spiral. This. Is. Not. A responsible method to solve the issue at hand.
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Javonna's Opinion
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07/23/2015
This law is bad on all grounds. There are laws that should not be made or introduced. This is pure amnesty. The law needs to be destroyed.
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What is House Bill H.R. 3009?

This bill aims to deter cities and states from declaring themselves as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants by cutting off federal grants from participating law enforcement agencies. It would prohibit federal funding from going to any city, local, or state law enforcement agency that gets grants through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program if the agency complies with local sanctuary laws for undocumented immigrants. It would also make those sanctuary cities, counties, and states ineligible to receive funding through the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP).

What is a sanctuary city or state? While there is no firm definition, in general the term applies to local governments that have adopted policies restricting cooperation with federal immigration authorities by local law enforcement agencies. In practice, it means local law enforcement will protect undocumented immigrants who have been arrested, but don't have criminal records from federal deportation agents by not reporting them to the federal government. 

Many state and local law enforcement agencies receive grants from the Dept. of Justice’s (DOJ) COPS Program which go toward hiring police officers, combatting specific crimes, and developing trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. In its fiscal year 2014 budget request, the DOJ asked Congress to provide $439.5 million for the COPS program — an increase of $241 million from the its funding the year prior.

Impact

Citizens of states or cities that have declared themselves to be sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants who commit crimes, law enforcement agencies currently receiving federal funds in those states and municipalities, and the Dept. of Justice.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3009

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: In introducing his legislation, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), said that

“States and cities that refuse to enforce federal immigration laws directly undermine enforcement efforts and — as recent events have shown — present a real danger to citizens. If a state or one of its cities wants to call itself a sanctuary and deliberately ignore the law, then Congress shouldn’t hesitate to withhold federal funding until there’s compliance.”

The U.S. Conference of Mayors has expressed its strong opposition to legislation that takes federal funding away from sanctuary cities. Citing a belief that mayors and their police departments should determine how resources are used to enforce immigration laws, and expressed concerns about how it could affect ongoing outreach:

“At a time when they are working hard to strengthen police-community relations and build trust, legislative proposals to withdraw funding from programs that help them accomplish that are particularly troubling.”

A Rasmussen poll released on July 10, 2015 found that 62 percent of Americans believe the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) should take legal action against sanctuary cities, while 58 percent believe federal funding should be cut off to those cities.


Of Note: Sanctuary cities in particular have long been controversial and grew in popularity during the 2000s — reaching a total of more than 200 cities or states with variations of the policy.

They re-emerged in the news cycle in July 2015 in San Francisco after a woman was fatally shot by an undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times, and convicted of several felonies. San Francisco has been a sanctuary city since 1989, when an ordinance preventing local authorities from assisting federal immigration enforcement was passed. Learn more about the incident, the politics of the situation, and how immigration cases have been handled in San Francisco here.

The federal government has also expressed frustration with the sanctuary cities, as ICE officials are put in greater danger by having to apprehend the undocumented immigrants at their home than if they had been able to pick them up at the jail. Recently the agency has begun tracking the number of “detainer” requests they have sent to local authorities about immigrants they’ve arrest which are subsequently refused, and the subject of the request allowed to go free.

However, the Director of ICE has expressed skepticism that forcing sanctuary cities or states to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement would be helpful, calling it a “highly counterproductive step” that would “lead to more resistance and less cooperation.”


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Franco Folini)

AKA

Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act

Official Title

To amend section 241(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to deny assistance under such section to a State or political subdivision of a State that prohibits its officials from taking certain actions with respect to immigration.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
  • The house Passed July 23rd, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 241 Yea / 179 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Immigration and Citizenship
    IntroducedJuly 9th, 2015

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    America can't afford to help its citizens so obviously we can no longer afford to aid foreign border crossers who break our laws to get in.
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    We need to find ways to give these immigrants an affordable pathway to citizenship.
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    It's outrageous for cities to break federal law and allow illegal immigrants to reside in their cities without fear of deportation. The impact these policies are devastating to the law-abiding citizens and legal residents of these cities.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Withholding federal funds would result in insufficient police services instead of improving immigration issues. Punishment to the city would result in higher crime rates, which would result in more pressure on an then unfunded police department, creating a death spiral. This. Is. Not. A responsible method to solve the issue at hand.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    I agree with a previous poster, federal funds are always tied to compliance with federal laws with the most notable being highway funds and the drinking age increase in the late 80's.
    Like (8)
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    Whether cities agree or disagree with immigration policy shouldn't be in question. Immigration policy is law, and must be enforced like any other. If you don't agree with DUI policy and actively drive under the influence, will you be punished if caught? Yes. Why? Because it is the law. We mustn't dance around immigration policy like it is a suggestion, and we should punish those who choose to treat it as so.
    Like (6)
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    Yes, sanctuary cities should lose federal money. If you don't play by the rules, you don't get the benefits. Simple logic if your head is cleared of socialistic idealism.
    Like (6)
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    This law is bad on all grounds. There are laws that should not be made or introduced. This is pure amnesty. The law needs to be destroyed.
    Like (6)
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    Enough with the pandering and letting cities do what they want with law breakers. If you receive federal funds and are a sanctuary city then those monies should be forfeit until the city complies.
    Like (4)
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    If these cities have the money to support this program .... Knock yourselves out... But I do not want one single penny of my tax dollars going to help criminals stay comfortable in America
    Like (3)
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    The law says that entering this country without proper registration and permission to enter is illegal.
    Like (3)
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    We should not be encouraging cities to harbor fugitives. If they don't like our rules they don't get our money.
    Like (3)
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    I don't believe 'providing sanctuary' is the correct term for what is happening. I also think withholding federal dollars will end up causing more problems than you're trying to solve.
    Like (3)
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    Illegal is illegal, my family came to America per the law and became citizens.
    Like (3)
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    Encourage functional dialogue and engagement.
    Like (3)
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    Why should they receive money for breaking the law?
    Like (2)
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    Illegal is illegal... Get it?
    Like (2)
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    Absolutely and retroactively if possible. And when they go immediately bankrupt let's be sure we have enough INS agents with dragnets to keep the displaced vermin from swarming elsewhere.
    Like (2)
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    This is not a matter of failure to compliance with laws, this is a matter of allowing local governments the freedom to prioritize their own policing. These localities are not shielding illegal immigrants from prosecution, they are just not prioritizing locating them, instead expecting the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement to do the job for which it was created. Cutting off funding to cities that choose to prioritize violent crimes over something that is technically outside of their jurisdiction is just petty politics.
    Like (2)
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    Sanctuary cities should not only lose funding, they should also face legal prosecution.
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