Washington, D.C. – Illegal immigration is not a new problem. It’s one of the primary issues that I came to Washington to solve. For too long, we’ve seen cities and municipalities unilaterally enact policies that directly contradict federal law, providing safe havens for people who are in our country unlawfully. This is simply unacceptable. With President Trump in the White House and a Republican majority in Congress, we now have a real chance to make meaningful and tangible changes to our broken immigration system.
Sanctuary cities are one of the greatest inherent threats to our public safety and national security. The lack of enforcement of federal immigration protocol has already cost too many American lives – most notably Kathryn Steinle’s, a San Francisco woman murdered in broad daylight in 2015 by an illegal alien who had already been deported five times. In a reckless attempt to provide asylum for illegal immigrants, sanctuary cities have only served to create pockets of communities more susceptible to crime and allow dangerous and repeat-offender criminal aliens to roam freely. These policies are unjustifiably endangering our own citizens. America is a nation of laws, and cities can’t pick and choose which laws to follow. That’s just not how it works.
This week, the House tackled this issue head-on by passing two new bills: H.R. 3003, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, and H.R. 3004, Kate’s Law. Under the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, states and localities that refuse to adhere to federal immigration laws will no longer receive certain federal grants from the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. Kate’s Law will enact harsher penalties for unlawful aliens who attempt to re-enter the United States after having been deported. These commonsense bills will ensure that sanctuary cities are held responsible for their hazardous policies. Further, they will remove illegal immigrants convicted of dangerous crimes from our communities and guarantee that the immigration laws already on the books will be fully enforced.
Our nation is a nation of immigrants. What we promise is that anyone who comes here has the opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their families. That said, those who wish to come here must to do so legally and with the intention of following our laws. I remain dedicated to defending our border and enforcing the rule of law throughout the country – without exception. One of my most important responsibilities as your representative in Congress is to keep our country and its citizens safe. I believe that these bills are a good first step of doing just that.