WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is urging the U.S. Senate to act swiftly to pass S. 2146, the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act. The bill would cutoff certain federal grants to jurisdictions that defy federal immigration laws and refuse to honor requests to detain illegal aliens who are sought by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). There are currently some 300 jurisdictions that harbor illegal aliens.
"Policies that protect people who are breaking U.S. immigration laws, including criminal aliens who have been arrested for other offenses, jeopardize the lives and safety of Americans. They also violate federal law. It is essential that Congress act immediately to end these policies," declared Dan Stein, president of FAIR.
The House of Representatives already passed legislation in July to cut off federal funds to sanctuary jurisdictions. While the Senate has delayed action, Americans continue to be victimized by state and local policies that result in deportable criminals being returned to our streets.
S. 2146 would take concrete steps to rein in local jurisdictions that impede immigration enforcement. The bill:
- Creates a uniform national definition of what constitutes a "sanctuary jurisdiction."
- Denies SCAAP, COPS and HUD grants to sanctuary jurisdictions and redirects those funds to compliant jurisdictions.
- Increases penalties against illegal aliens who reenter the country after deportation.
- Protects individuals who are victims of crimes, or who provide information to police. Such individuals cannot be asked about immigration status or have their immigration status investigated.
"The Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act is commonsense legislation designed to deter local government officials that actively shield illegal aliens from being removed from the United States," Stein said. "Jurisdictions that thwart even the minimal immigration law enforcement being carried out by the Obama administration should not expect to be the beneficiaries of federal law enforcement grants.
"FAIR urges the Senate to act responsibly to protect the safety of the American public by approving S. 2146 and to work with the House to send a final bill to the president's desk. If President Obama decides to veto the bill it is up to him to explain to the American people why he is refusing to act against reckless policies that have resulted in needless deaths of innocent citizens," concluded Stein.
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With more than 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.