House vote on Kate's Law part of illegal-alien crackdown

Laura Christensen
July 1, 2017

President Donald Trump is urging the House on Thursday to pass two pieces of legislation - one of which was spurred by a Bay Area woman's shooting death - that would stiffen punishments on people who re-enter the USA illegally and for "sanctuary" jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal deportation forces.

One bill, called "Kate's Law" is named for Kate Steinle, a young woman murdered in San Francisco two years ago allegedly by an undocumented immigrant who was deported multiple times. The measure, passed 257-167, would establish new penalties for undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions who re-enter the USA illegally after having been previously deported.

That proposal includes all of the provisions in the "No Sanctuary" and "Kate's Law" bills, and also provides for the hiring of over 10,000 new immigration officers, allows local law enforcement personnel to enforce immigration law and authorizes deportation of all immigrants - legal and illegal - who are members of criminal gangs.

The other bill, called the "No Sanctuary for Criminals Act" would withhold certain federal policing grants from so-called "sanctuary " jurisdictions that do not fully cooperate with federal law enforcement and comply with requests to turn over incarcerated immigrants when their jail sentences are up.

With Kate's Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act now moving to the Senate, the House will be under enormous pressure to pass the Davis-Oliver Act, a comprehensive enforcement bill that was recently approved by the House Judiciary Committee.

"Sanctuary jurisdictions pose a threat to the American public by refusing to work with ICE and allowing egregious criminal offenders back into the community to put the lives of the public at risk", Homan said during the briefing.

California lawmakers are considering legislation that would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from enforcing federal immigration laws, and several cities have created funds to pay for lawyers for those facing deportation.

"Now that the House has acted, I urged the Senate to take up these bills, pass them, and send them to my desk", Trump said.

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"My colleagues say this bill is about protecting us from criminals, but don't be fooled about the ultimate effect of this bill", Conyers said on the House floor. Swalwell opposed that bill, House Resolution 3003, in the almost party-line vote.

Immigrants who enter the USA illegally on three or more occasions could face imprisonment for up to 10 years, according to the measure. The alleged shooter is a felonious undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times.

Both law have strong backing from President Donald Trump.

Still, Democrats won't apply a full-court press as they whip against "Kate's Law", given the emotional forces underlying the Steinle tragedy and others like it. Both bills now shift to the Senate. San Francisco is a sanctuary city.

Last year, a version of Kate's Law failed on a vote of 55-42. It's not clear having a president friendly to the issue will help this time around. Illegally reentering the USA after being deported now can result in a prison sentence of up to two years.

In their statement condemning both measures, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) argued they would "undercut law enforcement's ability to keep communities safe, undermine Constitutional protections, and criminalize immigrants".

"That's because San Francisco is one of about 300 cities that openly refuse to turn over criminal illegal aliens to federal law enforcement", Sessions wrote.

Other reports by My Hot News

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