Sanctuary jurisdictions—state and local policies that obstruct immigration enforcement—pose a serious threat to the safety of the American people. Although some “sanctuary” policies were enacted ten or more years ago and have been responsible for countless needless deaths in the United States, they finally received national media attention in the summer of 2015 after Kate Steinle was tragically shot and killed in San Francisco. The shooter, Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate, is an illegal alien with seven convictions and five previous deportations. It’s important to note that Garcia-Zarate admitted he went to San Francisco because he knew it was a sanctuary city that would protect him from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
While San Francisco is the most notable sanctuary jurisdiction, there are now more than 500 of them throughout the country, including the entire state of California. The overwhelming majority of sanctuary jurisdictions emerged while President Obama was in office. President Trump has vowed to combat sanctuary policies by withholding federal grants from jurisdictions that do not share information about illegal aliens with Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE), or by filing lawsuits against jurisdictions that blatantly ignore federal law.
Ending sanctuary policies were one of President Trump’s key campaign promises during the 2016 presidential election, and he frequently referenced the tragic murder of Kate Steinle. Congress has a mandate to act on this issue. There are two pieces of legislation that could end sanctuary policies and both have passed the House of Representatives. One is “Kate’s Law,” named after Kate Steinle, which would increase penalties for deported criminal aliens who try to return to the U.S. The other is called the “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act,” which would withhold federal grants from local law enforcement agencies unless they place detainers on criminal aliens requested by ICE. The bill would also allow victims of criminal aliens to sue jurisdictions that practice sanctuary policies.
American voters made a choice during the November 2016 election: Congress needs to follow their lead and end sanctuary policies.
- FAIR Report: Sanctuary Jurisdictions Have Nearly Doubled Since Trump Took Office
- Sanctuary Cities: Obstructing Immigration Enforcement | In-depth policy analysis from FAIR’s Government Relations team
- “Sanctuary” Policy is Bad Public Policy | FAIR Fact Sheet
- • FAIR Urges Passage of Senate Anti-Sanctuary Bill | FAIR Statement
- Video: FAIR President Dan Stein Talks Sanctuary Cities | One America News Network
- • The Obama Administration is NOT Cracking Down on Sanctuary Policies | FAIR Media Director Ira Mehlman on Townhall.com
- Video: Sheriffs Speak Out Against Sanctuary Cities
- Sanctuary Policies Across the U.S. | A Report by FAIR’s State and Local Department
- H.R. 3004, “Kates Law.” | The legislative text of “Kate’s Law” sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
- H.R. 3003, “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act.” | The legislative text of “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act” sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
- Give Kate Steinle Justice by Ending Sanctuary Cities | FAIR Op-Ed
- In Memory of Kate Steinle; Time to Shut Down Sanctuary Cities | FAIR Op-Ed