PA Congressman’s bill would stop ‘Sanctuary City’ funding

Seattle is one of several "sanctuary cities" that could be affected by a new bill to stop federal funding support of such cities. (Publicdomainpictures.net)
Seattle is one of several “sanctuary cities” that could be affected by a new bill to stop federal funding support of such cities. (Publicdomainpictures.net)

Pennsylvania Congressman Lou Barletta has reintroduced legislation he previously submitted that would deny all federal funding to states or municipalities that “resist or ban enforcement of federal immigration laws, or flatly refuse to cooperate with immigration officials.”

“One of the principal duties of the government is to protect its citizens, and the idea of sanctuary cities runs completely counter to that responsibility,” Barletta said in a press release. “Too many mayors and local governments think that they are above federal law and place their own ideology ahead of the safety of their residents. This bill will stop that practice by saying to these sanctuary cities, ‘If you refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement, you will lose your federal funding.’”

This could hit cities all over the country, from Philadelphia to San Francisco and Seattle. Chicago is another such city. It would cost such cities millions of dollars.

Dubbed the Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act, H.R. 83 was the first measure submitted by Barletta when the 115th Congress convened earlier in the week. This is not the first time he has submitted the bill. He also introduced the legislation in 2011 and again in 2015.

When Barletta was the mayor of Hazleton, one of his constituents identified as Derek Kichline, 29, was murdered by an illegal immigrant with a history of being released by law enforcement. The 2015 murder of Kate Steinle by an illegal alien who had been deported several times, and was a convicted felon at the time of her slaying, motivated Barletta to reintroduce the bill two years ago.

Immigration policy has become a polarizing issue, and with the election of Donald Trump, sanctuary advocates have been vocal with their concerns of his threats of deportation.

Under provisions of the legislation “a state or local government would only regain federal funding eligibility after the attorney general certifies that its laws and policies are in compliance with federal immigration statutes.”

If the bill becomes law, the attorney general would produce an annual list of “sanctuary” cities and report on “any particular state or locality upon request from a member of Congress.”


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