Quigley Statement on Republican Bill Targeting Sanctuary Cities
Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), who has introduced recent legislation protecting Sanctuary Cities from the Trump Administration’s anti-immigration threats, released the following statement on Republican legislation once again targeting Sanctuary Cities:
“Sanctuary Cities exemplify many of our founding ideals as a nation; offering a safe place to those who want to play by the rules and contribute to and strengthen our country in the process,” said Rep. Quigley. “Instead of working on bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform, which would advance the safety and security of all Americans, Republicans are instead choosing to perpetuate fear and discrimination through partisan politics. If we are serious about defending our communities, we cannot continue to foster mistrust at the local level, which is exactly what this bill will do.”
In January, Rep. Quigley introduced the Safeguarding Sanctuary Cities Act, which ensures that federal funds cannot be unduly withheld from any state or local authority that limits or restricts compliance with a voluntary immigration detainer request. In February, Rep. Quigley introduced legislation to block a vital component of President Trump's executive order on immigration by rescinding the statutory authority for the federal government's 287(g) Program, which allows the Department of Homeland Security to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies for the purposes of enforcing federal immigration law. Not only does this require local law enforcement to divert time and resources away from deterring violent crime, it also drives a wedge between police and the communities they serve.
The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act that passed on the House Floor today would effectively coerce states and localities to engage in Federal immigration enforcement. Among other things, it would permit the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security (DHS) to withhold critical law enforcement and terrorism funding from jurisdictions that strictly define how their police work with federal immigration agencies, including how they deal with DHS detainers or “immigration holds.” DHS detainers are written requests made to local law enforcement agencies asking that an individual be held (up to ninety-six hours in the bill) after his or her release date in order to provide DHS agents extra time to decide whether to take the individual into federal custody for removal purposes. This legislation would also violate our federal system of government by making it easier for the federal government to interfere in how state and local authorities handle criminal prosecutions within their jurisdictions.