Reschenthaler Introduces Bill to Crack Down on Dangerous Sanctuary City Policies

April 5, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C – In an effort to improve public safety, Congressman Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14) recently introduced H.R. 1928, the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act. The bill, which includes language that passed the House during the 115th Congress, will help combat sanctuary city policies that continue to shield illegal and criminal immigrants from federal immigration law.

“Sanctuary city policies are dangerous and irresponsible. They promote illegal entry into our country and in the most tragic cases, cost American lives,” said Reschenthaler. “Elected officials should not put Americans at risk just so they can score cheap political points. H.R. 1928 will penalize those who willfully ignore federal law and ensure justice for victims of sanctuary city policies and their loves ones.”

So-called “Sanctuary Cities” are commonly defined as local jurisdictions where officials deliberately ignore requests from the federal government to detain illegal immigrants and do not report the individuals to the Department of Homeland Security for deportation. In recent years, there have been a number of innocent Americans killed by illegal or criminal immigrants in cities with sanctuary policies. For example, in July 2015, Kate Steinle was shot and killed by Francisco Sanchez, an illegal immigrant from Mexico with seven felony convictions who had been deported five times.  Due to San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy, Sanchez’s incarceration was not reported  to the appropriate federal agency. He was released and murdered Kate a few months later.

To combat sanctuary city policies, H.R. 1928 makes it clear that no entity or individual may prohibit a government entity from complying with immigration laws or assisting or cooperating with law enforcement regarding immigration laws. The bill withholds certain federal funding from jurisdictions that violate federal law by prohibiting their officers from communicating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Additionally, H.R. 1928 clarifies ICE detainer authority – the tool used by federal immigration enforcement officers to pick up criminal aliens from local jails. Jurisdictions that comply with detainers are protected from being sued.

“It is time to crack down on the dangerous practice of releasing criminals back into our communities,” said Reschenthaler. “I hope my colleagues in the House will prioritize the safety of the American people by supporting the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act.”