President Trump Calls on Congress to Pass Bills Aimed at Undocumented Immigrants
00:15, Jul 1, 2017
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The US House of Representatives Thursday passedtwo bills to penalize undocumented immigrants who try to reenter the US illegally and would cut funds for cities that provide sanctuary for them, NBC News reported.
The legilsation is named after Kathryn Steinle who was shot and killed in 2015 in San Francisco by Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, a repeat felon and undocumented immigrant from Mexico who was deported several times.
"You lost the people that you love because our government refused to enforce our nation's immigration laws and that's including the existing immigration laws", Trump told the family members who had joined him in the Cabinet room. "Kate's Law" would impose harsher mandatory minimum prison sentences on deportees who re-enter the United States, with stronger penalty increases for those who have been convicted of non-immigration crimes. "Or is the objective of our government to protect felons who have entered our country illegally, broken our laws and threatened our people?"
After President Trump met Wednesday with relatives of victims of acts committed by undocumented immigrants, the House Judiciary Committee gave the go-ahead to begin voting on both proposals today, "ensuring they had the 18 necessary votes in the plenary".
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Lopez-Sanchez would have been in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if the city of San Francisco had notified them about his release from the city's custody.
"We are protecting the freedoms of law-abiding Americans, and we are going after the criminal gangs and cartels that prey on our innocent citizens". The city continues to refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act bars "sanctuary cities" that do not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement from receiving many federal grants and leaves them vulnerable to liability lawsuits from victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants.
The bill passed with a 228-195 vote.
He's ratcheting up the heat on the Obama-appointed holdovers in lower courts and their local political allies who stymie his efforts to stanch the flow of illegals across USA borders and to deport those who come here and commit serious crimes.
"American families deserve real solutions to our broken immigration system-that means fixing our immigration system, not playing politics by scapegoating immigrant communities and threatening the effectiveness of local law enforcement", said Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), the chair of the CHC.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said he appreciates Congress' effort to "address the dangers of sanctuary cities and illegal immigrant offenders".
If the bills make it through the Senate intact, the President promises to sign them "quickly", which will hasten a showdown with California, the state that prides itself on being the epicenter of resistance to Trump.
President Donald Trump released a statement praising the bills passing the House. "This initiative will toughen penalties for illegal immigrants who repeatedly re-enter the country", House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said at a press conference Thursday morning.
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