May 23, 2019

Cassidy, Colleagues Introduce Bill to End Dangerous Sanctuary City Policies

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and John Kennedy (R-LA) today reintroduced the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Actlegislation to end dangerous sanctuary city policies that forbid local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

The Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act would withhold certain funds from “sanctuary cities”—jurisdictions that forbid their local law enforcement officers from cooperating with federal immigration officials, even when they wish to do so.

“If cities defy federal law, as designed to protect Americans from criminals, there must be consequences,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Putting an end to the dangerous practice of so-called Sanctuary Cities will help keep Americans safe and keep criminals off the streets.” 

“It is past time to put an end to dangerous sanctuary city policies,” said Senator Toomey. “These policies – like the ones in Philadelphia and San Francisco – make it harder to stop illegal immigration and keep dangerous criminals off the streets. Sanctuary cities extend a special protection to illegal immigrants even when federal immigration officials identity them as a threat to public safety. This is simply inexcusable, and I urge my colleagues to help pass this commonsense measure.”

“Sanctuary cities keep criminal aliens on our streets, and we will no longer tolerate their willful defiance of our nation’s laws,” said Senator Cotton. “Public safety must come first. If you’re not following the law, you shouldn’t get taxpayer dollars, period.”

“Sanctuary cities like San Francisco, Seattle and New York happily accept federal money, but they are just as eager to ignore our nation’s immigration laws,” said Senator Kennedy. “These liberal cities actively impede federal immigration enforcement efforts, which only encourages more illegal immigration. I’m a proud co-sponsor of the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act because it sends a clear message to these cities that if they choose to ignore the rule of law, they don’t deserve hard-earned taxpayer dollars.”

The Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act is also cosponsored by Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Ron Johnson (R-WS), John Kennedy (R-LA), Rand Paul (R-KY), David Perdue (R-GA), Jim Risch (R-ID), and Thom Tillis (R-NC).

Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA).

The legislation also addresses court decisions that may leave local police and municipalities liable when they assist the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) but the DHS has made an error. The measure preserves an individual’s right to sue if a law enforcement officer commits any violation of the individual’s civil or constitutional rights. However, this measure ensures that if the federal government committed the error or violated a right, the individual sues the federal government, not a local official acting in good faith and in compliance with a request from the DHS. The legislation also provides a safe harbor for jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration officials with regard to persons in the country illegally who come forward as victims or witnesses to a crime.

The legislation is supported by:

  • Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
  • International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO
  • National Association of Police Organizations