In an effort led by Alabama 5th District U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, Arizona 4th District U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, Iowa 4th District U.S. Rep. Steve King and Colorado 4th District U.S. Rep. Ken Buck — a group of House Republicans are urging Congressional appropriators to defund “sanctuary cities” that prevent law enforcement officials from faithfully executing America’s immigration laws:
In a letter sent Tuesday, the four sponsors and 35 additional co-sponsors submitted appropriations language requesting the House Appropriations Committee prevent funds from going to “sanctuary cities.”
“Sanctuary cities” are municipalities that have limited their cooperation with federal officials regarding undocumented immigrants, in order to help illegal immigrants avoid deportation. Currently, there are around 340 sanctuary jurisdictions across the U.S. actively obstructing federal law enforcement protecting illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities, according to a recent study by the Center for Immigration Studies.
The letter follows an executive order President Donald Trump issued on his fifth day in office, whereby allowing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to decide whether sanctuary cities would be eligible for federal grants.
“Congress has an opportunity to work with the Trump Administration and enforce our nation’s immigration laws with respect to sanctuary cities,” said Congressman Mo Brooks. “Cities and localities who have refused to comply with federal immigration laws and knowingly shield dangerous felons from removal by ICE present a clear danger to our Republic. According to an ICE report from March of 2017, there are an estimated 300 cities and counties obstructing federal immigration agents from doing their jobs to deport dangerous criminals, thereby intentionally endangering Americans.”
Rep. Gosar points to the U.S. Constitution as the reason he and his colleagues are taking action.
“The concept of ‘sanctuary city’ policies is in direct opposition to the Rule of Law and our Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4, gives Congress clear jurisdiction on immigration matters,” stated Gosar. “I’m pleased to see President Trump and Attorney General Sessions lead on this issue, but the House must also act by using the power of the purse. It’s long past time for Congress to crack down and defund sanctuary city policies that are proven to be deadly and put the security of our communities at risk.”
The House has voted and passed language that prohibits federal funds from going to sanctuary cities five different times in recent years.
“Sanctuary cities force the federal government to spend more money on immigration enforcement,” added Rep. Buck. “We must assert federal authority on federal issues and cut off funding for cities that violate the rule of law, which is what this appropriations request does.”
The full text of the appropriations language request can be found HERE.
The list of 35 House members who cosponsored this language request include Representatives Abraham, Arrington, Babin, Barletta, Brady, Brat, Mo Brooks, Buck, Cramer, DeSantis, Duncan, Farenthold, Franks, Gosar, Grothman, Hensarling, Hice, Hunter, Sam Johnson, Jones, Kelly, Steve King, Lamborn, Marino, McCaul, McClintock, Meadows, Olson, Ratcliffe, Rooney, Rouzer, Schweikert, Wagner, Webster and Yoho.