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Lankford, 19 Colleagues Want to Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), along with 18 of their colleagues, introduced the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act. Often, sanctuary cities prohibit their law enforcement officers from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. This bill would allow local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration authorities and would pull taxpayer-funded grants to sanctuary cities.


Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), John Boozman (R-AR), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Deb Fischer (R-NE) joined the bill as cosponsors. 


“Sanctuary cities by definition make our nation less safe. They undermine efforts to secure the border and foster an environment for criminals to do more crime. It is unthinkable that the same cities that choose to break the law by harboring illegal immigrants have the benefit of receiving taxpayer-funded grants from the federal government to deter crime. This legislation is a much-needed step to restore law and order in cities across America,” said Lankford.


“So-called ‘sanctuary cities’ refuse to enforce the laws on the books and release violent criminals in our country illegally—including rapists and murders—who go on to prey on both American citizens and the immigrant community. Moreover, many of these sanctuary jurisdictions actively prevent state and local law enforcement from coordinating with their federal counterparts.  They release murderers, rapists, and burglars who end up preying on the community. That is wrong. The American people, and Texas communities in particular, are tired of seeing our laws flouted and the crime that often accompanies illegal immigration. These jurisdictions need to be held accountable, and I will do everything I can to enforce our immigration laws,” said Cruz.


“Sanctuary cities undermine our nation’s legal immigration system and prevent law enforcement from being able to do their jobs. By promoting coordination between local and federal officials, this bill ensures these safe havens for dangerous criminals don’t receive certain taxpayer-funded grants, and I’m proud to support it,” said Cornyn.


“Our country welcomes individuals from around the world who want to be a part of our country, but we expect everyone to follow the rule of law and obtain residency or citizenship through the legal process. Our laws must be enforced as written, and any city that chooses not to enforce federal immigration laws should not be allowed to use federal funds to support their liberal activist efforts to undermine law and order,” said Capito.


“When the whims of local politicians prevent law enforcement officers from doing their jobs, our communities are less safe and our nation’s rule of law is shortchanged. City governments should not tie the hands of their law enforcement officers who are trying to comply with federal immigration law. Any city that chooses to force their officers to ignore our laws doesn’t deserve the benefit of taxpayer-funded federal grants,” said Grassley.


“Reckless sanctuary policies have allowed dangerous criminals back into communities in North Carolina, and that number will continue to increase as liberal politicians put politics ahead of the safety and security of their constituents. This legislation is a step towards law and order and will help ensure state and local law enforcement cooperate with federal immigration authorities to stop violent criminals who are here illegally. I have long fought against sanctuary cities and am proud to work on this legislation with my colleagues,” said Tillis.


“We are a nation of laws. If local and state governments fail to uphold our laws that seek to keep families safe and stop dangerous criminals, there should be consequences. These laws are on the books to improve public safety and strengthen national security. We must take action if we are ever to find a long-term solution to strengthen our borders and fix the current border crisis,” Rounds said.


“The crisis at our southern border is out of control. To get a handle on it, the Biden administration need to enforce our laws. Sanctuary cities disregard federal immigration laws and need to be held accountable for their actions. This legislation will help to stop sanctuary cities and ensure that we are upholding the law of the land and maintaining the rule of law,” Hoeven said.


“President Biden’s immigration policies have created a disaster at our southern border. Liberal-run cities that support those policies and refuse to enforce immigration law are adding fuel to a fire that’s hurting Americans. Cracking down on cities that endorse and facilitate illegal immigration is a commonsense way we can begin to reverse President Biden’s border crisis,” Tuberville said.


“Sanctuary cities that prohibit their law enforcement officers from working with federal immigration authorities not only undermine our federal immigration laws, but also put law-abiding citizens at risk and create even more of an incentive for illegal immigration. This is the last thing we need as the humanitarian and national security crisis on our southern border – exacerbated by the Biden administration’s policies – continues to rage. I am proud to support this legislation and I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure law and order is upheld in every community,” Boozman said.


“It is incomprehensible that cities and states willfully block enforcement of our immigration laws, particularly with the undeniable crisis at our southern border staring us in the face. The rule of law is vital to keeping our citizens safe, and there should be consequences for cities who refuse to make Americans’ safety a priority.  This bill would not only ensure that law enforcement officers can cooperate with federal immigration officers, but it would see to it that cities are not rewarded with taxpayer-funded grants for flouting our laws,” Hyde-Smith said.


In 2018, a bipartisan majority of Senators voted in support of the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act, but it did not receive the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. Organizations that have supported this bill include the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National Association of Police Organizations, the AFL-CIO, and the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the New York City Police Department.


Read the full text of the bill here.