Alabama state rep. Phil Williams mulls introduction of sanctuary city penalty bill

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With the election of Donald Trump, there’s no denying we’ve entered a new era of immigration politics.

If the president-elect holds true to his campaign promises, gone are the days of looking the other way on lax immigration enforcement, and that includes not “rewarding” sanctuary cities — cities that have adopted a policy of protecting undocumented immigrants by not prosecuting them solely for violating federal immigration laws in the country in which they are now living illegally.

During his campaign, Trump promised he’d strip such cities of their federal funding.

“We will end the sanctuary cities that have caused so many needless deaths,” Trump declared in a speech outlining his immigration proposals in August. “No more funds!”

And now Rainbow City-Republican, Alabama state rep Phil Williams is considering following Trump’s lead and introducing a bill in the Alabama Legislature that would deem any Alabama city or county that declares themselves a sanctuary city ineligible to receive any state funds.

Williams first brought up the “America First” idea on Sunday night when he posted on Facebook querying his friends and constituents as to whether or not they thought it would be a good idea.

phil-williams-sanctuary-city

[Photo Credit: State rep. Phil Williams Facebook page]

Within the first hour, Williams 8:02 p.m. post had garnered over 50 responses, mostly positive.

When Alabama Today asked whether or not he planned to move forward with his idea, Williams said yes.

“There have already been some great FB feedback but I am moving forward,” Williams said.

sanctuary-cities-map

U.S. sanctuary cities map, as of Aug. 31, 2016. [Photo Credit: cis.org] Click to enlarge

While there has yet to be any Alabama cities/counties that have declared themselves sanctuary cities, Williams sees this as an opportunity to lead where others are failing to lead and ultimately bring Americans together.

“It’s not my style to attack problems that don’t exist at home,” Williams explained, “but I think folks should be rallied to support laws which will ultimately pull us all together.
The regular session of the Alabama Legislature is scheduled to begin Feb.7, 2017, for now Williams can only pre-file the bill should he choose to proceed.
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