As Republican candidate Donald Trump goes to the U.S.-Mexican border on Thursday, the House of Representatives will have its own debate on immigration, as lawmakers take up a GOP plan that would restrict police funding for cities that don’t help the feds with illegal immigration.
“Elected officials are actively choosing not to follow immigration law,” said Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX).
“Cities should not expect to receive federal grants if they choose to ignore federal immigration law,” Sessions argued.
Democrats were not impressed, and more than happy to tie the legislative effort to the frontrunner in the Republican race for the White House.
“‘The Donald Trump Act’ is yet another attack on Latino and immigrant communities,” said Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), the Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
“This enforcement-only piecemeal bill is simply another vehicle for spreading the same lies that Donald Trump has espoused about Latino immigrants,” said a statement from the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda.
The bill would:
+ Restrict grants awarded under the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program
+ Limit funding under the popular COPS program
+ Hold back grants under the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance program
One interesting part of the three page bill is how a Sanctuary City is defined. Here is the legislative mumbo-jumbo on that one:
“A State or unit of local government described in this subsection is any State or local government that— (1) has in effect any law, policy, or procedure in contravention of subsection (a) or (b) of section 642 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1373); or (2) prohibits State or local law enforcement officials from gathering information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”