“YES” on Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act (S. 2146)

On Tuesday, the Senate voted on the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act (S. 2146).  Introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) 68%, the legislation would hold sanctuary cities accountable for defying federal law by denying certain federal grants to those jurisdictions, including Community Development Block Grants.  The bill would also “increase penalties for individuals who illegally reenter the United States after being removed and to provide liability protection for State and local law enforcement who cooperate with Federal law enforcement.”

The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky explains that “Sanctuary cities are not only perilous to the lives and safety of innocent Americans, they are violating federal immigration law.”  He continues:

“8 U.S.C. §1373 bans state and local governments from prohibiting or restricting law enforcement or other government officials from sending or receiving information from the federal government on the ‘citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.’  But the Obama administration, in accordance with its general nonenforcement policy on immigration, announced in 2010 that it would not sue sanctuary cities. It even terminated the federal Secure Communities Program that gave local jurisdictions the ability to check whether individuals they arrested were in the United States illegally.”

The Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act (S. 2146) would provide a real measure of accountability to jurisdictions flaunting federal immigration law.

Heritage Action supported S. 2146 and included it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.