Efforts to disable and punish the policies of “sanctuary cities” are sweeping the U.S. on both a state and federal level. While state legislatures are attempting to root them out, the Senate is facing a bill that would scale back federal funding for sanctuary cities. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has nicknamed the bill “the Donald Trump Act.”
Sanctuary cities have been a response to a federal initiative that asks local law enforcement to help Immigration and Customs Enforcement catch immigrants residing in the U.S. illegally. These cities have put limitations on the assistance they provide to ICE. The U.S. has more than 300 sanctuary cities, according to USA Today.
Following the July murder of San Francisco resident Kathryn Steinle, who was shot by immigrant Francisco Sanchez, a criminal, after he was released by local authorities, states across the country are attempting to crack down on cities that do not comply with the ICE, USA Today reports.
Republicans have been aggressive in trying to undercut sanctuary cities across the U.S. The battle is being waged largely on a state level. Republican Sen. Charles Perry of Texas tells USA Today he has created a bill that would prohibit any sanctuary policies in his state.
“When you allow cities to undermine federal immigration law, you create a scenario … that can create chaos and anarchy, because who’s to say what laws should be enforced?” asks Perry.
The Senate will be holding a procedural vote on Oct. 20 on a bill proposed by Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana. Vitter’s legislation would cut federal funding for cities deemed who fail to adhere to federal immigration law, The Hill reports.
Minority Leader Reid, a Democratic senator from Nevada, has come out strongly against the bill, according to The Hill.
Reid’s nickname for Vitter’s bill refers to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has made border security and mass deportations of undocumented immigrants the centerpiece of his campaign.
"This vile legislation might as well be called the Donald Trump Act, like the disgusting, outrageous language championed by Donald Trump," Reid says.
"Republicans are not really proposing this bill to solve any problems within our immigration system,” Reid continued. “This Donald Trump Act was designed to demonize immigrants and spread the myth that they are criminals and threats to the public."