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Senator Lankford Votes To Stop Sanctuary Cities

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today issued the following statement on the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act (S. 2146). Sanctuary cities are localities with policies that prohibit or restrict police cooperation with federal immigration enforcement efforts. The bill addresses the threat to community safety by releasing illegal immigrants with criminal records back into our neighborhoods and providing a safe harbor for those here illegally.  

“Failure to enforce existing immigration law places significant risks to national security and local community safety,” said Lankford. “I have continually stressed that the status quo of immigration policies have pushed us to unenforced laws, weak e-verify systems, disconnected law enforcement, random visa ‘lottery’ winners, and millions of individuals from around the world trying any means necessary to enter the US illegally.

“Sanctuary city polices that ignore crimes committed by undocumented immigrants is unacceptable. Not every immigrant is a criminal, but those that are criminals should not be released into our country to commit additional crimes. We are a nation of compassion, but we are also a nation of law. This bill promises a clear definition of sanctuary cities, restricts some federal funds to sanctuary communities and provides consequences for illegal reentry into the country, particularly for those with criminal convictions. This is a step in the right direction to fix our broken immigration system.”

Senate Democrats filibustered the bill and prevented debate by voting down the cloture vote on the bill. S. 2146 is in response to numerous murders and felony crimes allegedly committed by undocumented immigrants who are provided sanctuary in cities across the country. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released 30,558 criminal illegal immigrants with a total of 79,059 convictions in 2013-2014. Of those released in 2013-2014. Approximately 12,000 detainers were not honored in 2014.