U.S. Sen. Luther Strange is proposing to take federal funding that would go to so-called “sanctuary cities” – those that are not following U.S. immigration law – and use it for President Donald Trump’s promised wall on the country’s southern border.
“How many innocent American lives must be lost before security becomes the first priority of immigration?” the Alabama Republican told an audience at a Heritage Foundation event last week.
“How many criminal aliens have to be released shy of justice being served for the rule of law to be affirmed as the first priority of a functioning society?”
In May, Strange introduced a bill that would keep federal funds going to sanctuary cities that fail to comply with Justice Department directives on immigration law or prevent money going to municipalities that retaliate against small businesses for submitting bids in the construction process for Trump’s border wall.
As reported in the Daily Signal, Strange spoke at the event, titled “Securing the Border and Protecting Our Communities,” saying:
“My bill has two simple outcomes. Sanctuary jurisdictions can either follow the law or fund the wall. Failure to comply with federal immigration authorities and continued efforts to interfere with the lawful pursuit of border wall contracts by local businesses will be met with the loss of federal transportation and infrastructure grant funding. These funds will go toward the construction of our border wall.”
Strange explained that the legislation would be a fiscally conservative way to pay for Trump’s border wall.
“I want to be clear about that, these are not funds to pay for emergency preparedness, health care, or public safety,” Strange added. “They are transportation and infrastructure funds, and they will be going to fund a major infrastructure project.”
Luther did not give a timetable for construction of the wall but acknowledged the project is still Trump’s top priority.
“I have not heard anything except the president say publicly and personally that he’s going to build the wall,” Strange told the crowd. “People in Alabama have certainly not forgotten that promise, and it is a critical commitment to our people.”
Strange called for the rule of law to prevail in U.S. immigration policy.
“The fact that citizens and others who are here lawfully might be harmed by an unlawful measure picking winners and losers in the name of illegal immigration is the height of irony and liberal hypocrisy,” he said.