Senator Also Cosponsors Kate’s Law Bill to Establish Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Illegal Reentry

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today cosponsored legislation to protect American citizens by penalizing cities, counties, and states that adopt so-called “sanctuary city” policies.

The Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act (S.87) would deny certain federal funding to jurisdictions with sanctuary policies that obstruct U.S. immigration law enforcement and disregard requests to detain criminal aliens sought by federal authorities.

“Sanctuary city policies disrespect the rule of law in this country.  The obstruction of our immigration laws poses a danger to the public as thousands of wanted criminal aliens and suspected terrorists are shielded from federal authorities,” Hyde-Smith said.

“This legislation would ensure sanctuary cities that thumb their noses at our immigration laws aren’t subsidized by American taxpayers,” she said.

In addition to prohibiting certain funding for sanctuary jurisdictions, the bill would also provide more liability protections for law enforcement officers and jurisdictions that cooperate with federal requests for criminal alien detention assistance.  National law enforcement groups, like the National Association of Sheriffs and the Federation for American Immigration Reform, have endorsed the legislation.  The bill was authored by Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

There are more than 200 jurisdictions within the United States currently providing safe-haven to illegal immigrants as “sanctuary cities,” as defined by the bill.

Hyde-Smith is also cosponsoring Kate’s Law, or the Stop Illegal Reentry Act (S.45), which would establish a five-year mandatory minimum prison term for criminal aliens who reenter the United States after being removed following a conviction for an aggravated felony or following two or more prior convictions for illegal reentry.  It would also set a 10-year maximum prison term for illegal immigrants who reenters the United States after being denied admission, excluded, deported, or removed on three or more prior occasions.

“Entering the country illegally is bad enough, but to then commit crimes against innocent Americans is completely unacceptable,” Hyde-Smith said.  “Kate’s Law is intended to ensure that criminal aliens and those who repeatedly cross our borders illegally are prosecuted.”

The bill, authored by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is named for Kate Steinle, who was murdered in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant with seven felony convictions who had been deported five times but was released despite a detention request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act and Kate’s Law have both been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.