Cities Condemn Passage of Bill to Punish So-Called “Sanctuary” Cities

U.S. Capitol Building
U.S. Capitol Building

WASHINGTON — June 29, 2017 — Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed H.R. 3003 — the “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act.” The legislation broadly attempts to undermine local authority over public safety by coercing local governments into executing immigration duties of the federal government, or risk losing multiple sources of federal funding. In response, National League of Cities (NLC) President Matt Zone, councilmember, Cleveland, released the following statement:

“Congress’ attempt to make America safer, while stripping local governments of funding for law enforcement, is counterproductive at best and a potential threat to the safety of our local law enforcement. We are very troubled by the fact that this bill jeopardizes vital funding that protects and aids local public safety officers, while exposing local governments to potential litigation and liability.

“Some leaders in Washington have spread a false assumption that ‘sanctuary cities’ prevent federal immigration officers from enforcing immigration laws. In reality, many local police departments in cities across the nation routinely cooperate with voluntary requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), while also focusing on developing constructive relationships within the communities they serve.

“Cities should not be burdened and endangered by the federal government’s inability to enforce its broken immigration laws. We call on the Senate to reject this bill, and on both chambers to open a dialogue with local leaders to discuss real ways in which we can enact comprehensive immigration reform that respects the principles of local control.”

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The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. www.nlc.org

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