In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) introduced this bill
along with another piece of legislation to deter illegal immigration.
He emphasized the problem posed by sanctuary cities in his introductory press release:
in sanctuary cities are prohibited from inquiring, acting on, or
reporting an individual’s immigration status—even when there is a
reasonable suspicion that an individual is in the country illegally. In
cities across the country, local jurisdictions have even gone so far as
to shield illegal aliens by adopting policies that restrict state and
local police from cooperating with federal authorities.”
This legislation has the support of one cosponsor in the House, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).
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 Kate Steinle's murder. 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
Media:Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Immigration and Customs Enforcement / Creative Commons)